Autumn Exhibition 2023 – Winning Proposal

The Art Council of Hafnarborg has selected Elitist Landscape, as the autumn exhibition of the year 2023, from proposals that were submitted at the end of last year, but the winning proposal was submitted by curators Eva Lín Vilhjálmsdóttir and Odda Júlía Snorradóttir.

The participating artists will be announced at a later date.

This will be the thirteenth exhibition in Hafnarborg’s Autumn Exhibition Series, where the objective is to collaborate with different curators, who get the chance to submit their own proposals, allowing new voices be heard. The Director and Art Council of Hafnarborg then review the submissions and select the winning proposal each year.

Midday Concerts – Winter to Spring 2023

We are proud to present the programme of the coming season of the Hafnarborg Midday Concert Series, in winter to spring 2023, but the concert series first started in 2003 and is therefore in its 20th year of operation. The first Midday Concert of the year is set to take place on February 7th at 12 p.m. To start the season, Erla Björg Káradóttir, soprano, will perform, accompanied by Antonía Hevesi, the artistic director of the concert series, on piano.

The programme of the Midday Concerts, until spring, is as follows:

February 7th
Erla Björg Káradóttir, soprano

March 7th
Bernadett Hegyi, soprano

April 4th
Sigríður Ósk Kristjánsdóttir, mezzosoprano

May 2nd
Valgerður Guðnadóttir, mezzosoprano

The Midday Concerts normally take place on the first Tuesday of each month during the wintertime. The concerts start promptly at noon and last for approximately half an hour. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the concerts are open to all, as long as seating is available. Entry is free.

Please note that the programme is subject to change.

Donation and Exhibition of Works by Sóley Eiríksdóttir

Last year, Hafnarborg received a generous donation of massive concrete sculptures made by the artist Sóley Eiríksdóttir (1957-1994), born and raised in Hafnarfjörður. The works add to the museum’s existing collection of works by the artist, spanning Sóley’s short but dynamic career.

The works were bestowed upon the museum by Brynja Jónsdóttir, the daughter of Sóley and artist Jón Axel Björnsson, who made the formal donation last autumn, from which time an exhibition of Sóley’s works has been in preparation at Hafnarborg.

The exhibition will feature the recently acquired artworks, as well as works that were already part of the Hafnarborg Collection, belong to the collections of other museums or private collectors. Clay was Sóley’s medium of choice, but early on she mostly worked within the pottery tradition. Later, however, her imagery took on a life of its own in large, three-dimensional works, made from concrete.

The title of the exhibition is Amuse, curated by Aldís Arnardóttir and Aðalheiður Valgeirsdóttir.

Sóley Eiríksdóttir studied metalworking at the Technical College of Hafnarfjörður for a year after finishing her studies at the Flensborg Secondary School. In 1975, she then enrolled in the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, first at the Department of Teaching before ultimately graduating from the Department of Pottery in 1981. Sóley exhibited widely in her short career, for example at the Reykjavík Art Museum, Hafnarborg, Gallerí Langbrók and the ASÍ Art Museum, as well as abroad, in the United States, Finland, Luxembourg, Canada and Germany.

Holiday Greetings from Hafnarborg

The Hafnarborg team wishes you all, the friends and partners of the museum, happy holidays and a joyful new year, as another great year comes to an end.

We look forward to welcoming you at Hafnarborg in the new year.

Holiday Season 2022 – Opening Hours

Hafnarborg is open as usual, until Christmas, everyday except Tuesdays, 12–5 p.m. The opening hours during the holidays are as follows:

December 23rd, Thorlac‘s Mass – open 12–5 p.m.

December 24th, Christmas Eve – closed

December 25th, Christmas Day – closed

December 26th, Second Day of Christmas – closed

December 27th – closed

December 28th–30th – open 12–5 p.m.

December 31st, New Year‘s Eve – closed

January 1st, New Year‘s Day – closed

The office of Hafnarborg will be closed during the holidays. Regular opening hours will resume from January 2nd. Entry is free and everyone welcome.

The Globe of Goodwill 2022 – Now Available at Our Shop

This year’s Globe of Goodwill, Sphere with Mark, by Karin Sander is now available at the museum shop. Each year, the Globe is sold as a limited edition, but last year the Globe sold out. All proceeds go to benefit children and young people with disabilities.

A red brushstroke floats in the tree, a painterly gesture on a fragile glass sphere, the colour glows and moves, acting as a marker of the ending year.

Karen Sander applies a single brushstroke to the transparent Globe of Goodwill as a clear painterly gesture. The thick impasto sits on the smooth, convex surface of the glass, visible three-dimensionally from all sides, including its concave side. The brushstroke’s end is wispy, revealing the viscosity of the colour while also telling of a gesture that is both cautious and energetic. The chosen colour stands out luminously from its surroundings, thereby becoming a sign of attentiveness and self reflection. Sphere with Mark thus becomes a mobile painting that constantly changes, as it responds to the environment, integrated in the painting itself.

Karin Sander (b. 1957) lives and works in Berlin and Zurich, but she has been connected to the Icelandic art scene since the early 1990s. Her artistic practice questions given situations and spaces in relation to their structural, social and historical contexts, making them visible in different ways using a range of media. Her works have been presented in solo exhibitions and festivals worldwide and belong to public collections around the world. Since 2007 she has held a professorship for architecture and art at the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich. Together with Philip Ursprung, she will represent Switzerland at the 18th International Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2023.

The Globe of Goodwill will be sold at the museum shop from December 8th until December 23rd, or while it remains in stock. 

Autumn Exhibition 2023 – Call for Proposals

As in previous years, curators are invited to submit proposals for next year’s Autumn Exhibition at Hafnarborg. The Autumn Exhibition Series began in 2011 and since then twelve exhibitions have been selected for production as part of the series, from numerous submissions by curators of diverse backgrounds and experience. This year‘s Autumn Exhibition, high tide – low tide, curated by Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir and set to open on September 10th, was selected by the same method, from the proposals submitted last year.

By calling for proposals, the objective is to collaborate with different curators, who submit compelling proposals for an exhibition, as well as creating a platform for emerging curators to present their ideas. For this reason, curators who are new to the field are encouraged to send in their proposals. In years past, the programme has proven its worth, as it has produced diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions, which have been well received all around.

The call is for group exhibitions connecting artists or artworks through their subject matter, artistic method and/or other ideas, but exhibitions analysing or focusing on a specific aspect of one artist’s work will also be considered. Proposals for exhibitions of contemporary artists’ works or exhibitions entailing historical analysis are welcome as well. The Director and Art Council of Hafnarborg will review the proposals and select the winning proposal.

Please note that the deadline to submit proposals has been extended until midnight on Sunday September 25th.

Applications are only accepted via email at [email protected] (see below).

Application process

The application process is divided into two parts and we ask applicants to read all details about the two-part process and required materials carefully.

Part 1

For the first part of the application process, we request the following information:

  • Description of the project with an emphasis on the idea underlying the exhibition (1000 words maximum).
  • CV of the curator(s).
  • Short CV of the participating artist(s), as well as others that might become part of the exhibition project.

Please provide as detailed a description as possible, while respecting the maximum word count. We will also accept illustrative material that is descriptive for the project, though this is not required. Applicants are encouraged to acquaint themselves with Hafnarborg’s layout and spaces before submitting their proposals. The Art Council of Hafnarborg, alongside the Director, will review all proposals and select those that will move on to the second part of the application process.

Part 2

The curators, whose proposals are selected for further review, will be invited to present their ideas and provide additional materials, such as exhibition catalogues, illustrative material or videos, as well as working on a realistic budget plan for the project. The budget plan for the exhibition, including its preparation, is expected to be in line with the museum’s financial plan, otherwise seeking special grants to fund the project.

When reviewing the proposals, the following will be taken into special consideration:

  • Selection of artists.
  • Whether the exhibition introduces an innovative view of the arts, for example in relation to its context and/or media.
  • Whether the exhibition includes new or older works, or even a mixture of both.
  • Whether the exhibition has a special relevance to Hafnarborg, for example to its collection, its surroundings, the town of Hafnarfjörður etc.
  • Whether the exhibition makes use of Hafnarborg’s exhibition space in a creative way.
  • The curators’ experience and CV.
  • Suggestions for events in connection with the exhibition (curatorial talks, artist talks, seminars etc.).
  • Ideas for a possible publication.
  • That the budget of the project is within reasonable limits (a more precise cost assessment will take place in the latter part of the process).

Sketches of Hafnarborg’s floor plan can be found here. These are intended to be used as a guide, as it is not required that the curators design the exhibition to fit the space in strict terms.

Please send all proposals via email to [email protected], with the subject “Autumn Exhibition 2021”. In response, we will send a message confirming that we have received the proposal, but we urge you to contact us at (354) 585 5790, if you do not receive said confirmation. Finally, all applicants will be kept informed about the status of their proposals, in due course. All results will be sent via email.

Further information is provided by the office of Hafnarborg at (354) 585 5790.

Hafnarborg Office – Partly Closed for Summer Vacations

Please note that the Hafnarborg office will be partly closed from July 11th until August 12th for summer vacations.

In the meantime, we kindly ask you to email us at [email protected].

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Wishing you all a great summer,
The staff of Hafnarborg

Gunnar Örn Gunnarsson – Open Studio at Kambur

Gunnar Örn Gunnarsson (1946-2008) moved with his family to Kambur in South Iceland in 1986. There, he had a spacious studio in an old storehouse, which he transformed and used as his workspace for over two decades, but the space made it possible for him to work on a bigger scale than before. From 1998, Gunnar Örn also ran an international gallery on site, called Gallerí Kambur, now an artist residency.

This summer, Hafnarborg presents a retrospective of Gunnar Örn’s career, titled In the Depths of Your Own Awareness. In connection with the exhibition, Gunnar Örn’s family will open the artist’s studio at Kambur all Saturdays in August, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Kambur is located by the lake Vestra Gíslholtsvatn, midway between the towns Selfoss and Hella, on route 284, diverging from the Ring Road shortly after one crosses the river Þjórsá heading eastwards (driving from the capital takes a little less than an hour and a half).

Click on the map to view it as a bigger image.

Welcome to the studio for a coffee and a chat.

The Hafnarborg Songfest – Master Class in the Main Gallery

Sönghátíð í Hafnarborg hefur frá upphafi staðið fyrir master class námskeiði fyrir lengra komna söngnemendur og söngvara. Í ár stendur námskeiðið yfir dagana 20. til 23. júní og fyllir tónlistin því húsakynni Hafnarborgar á meðan. Námskeiðið er haldið í aðalsal safnsins frá morgni til seinniparts dags, svo gestir sem heimsækja sýningar safnsins fá að njóta söngs þátttakenda í leiðinni. Námskeiðinu lýkur svo með tónleikum nemenda sem fara fram fimmtudaginn 23. júní kl. 20. Leiðbeinandi námskeiðsins að þessu sinni er hin ástsæla sópransöngkona Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir (Diddú) en henni til fulltingis er píanóleikarinn Helga Bryndís Magnúsdóttir, sem kemur einnig fram með nemendum á tónleikunum.

From its inception, The Hafnarborg Songfest has offered a master class for advanced singers. This year, the class takes place from June 20th until the 23rd, filling the museum with music and song for its duration. The class is held in the Hafnarborg’s main gallery, starting in the morning and ending in the afternoon, so guests of the museum will be able to enjoy the singing practice during their visit to the current exhibitions. At the end of this course, the participants will perform at a special concert on Thursday June 23rd at 8 p.m. as a part of The Songfest. This time, the instructor is beloved soprano Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir (Diddú) with the support of pianist Helga Bryndís Magnúsdóttir, who will also accompany the singers at the concert.

For more information about The Hafnarborg Songfest, please visit the offical website at