Time and Time Again

Arna Óttarsdóttir, Leslie Roberts and Amy Brener

Focusing on various facets of time, the exhibition presents works by three international contemporary artists, Arna Óttarsdóttir, Amy Brener and Leslie Roberts. In the exhibition, time is explored from a wide angle, from philosophical speculations about the concept itself and the nature of time, to the personal interpretation of the present time that characterises the works and working methods of all three artists.

Arna Óttarsdóttir’s works are based on drawings and writings from her sketchbook, which she translates into intricate and complex tapestry weavings. Quick sketches, shopping lists, or even scraps that seem strangely careless or random can often be found. The artist translates the personal and instantaneous into the slow medium of weaving, where each scribble is executed in a precise and balanced manner. The works manifest an interesting meeting of handmade and digital processes, from fast drawings to Photoshop manipulations and, lastly, to the slow process of tapestry weaving by hand.

In Leslie Roberts’ paintings, found words from her everyday surroundings are transliterated into a complex system of geometric shapes and colours. Traces or moments from our time are collected by the artist, who presents them in a compound way that is undeniably reminiscent of contemporary computer coding. The works are extremely delicate, yet free from unnecessary perfectionism, as the artist allows mistakes to stand without erasing or hiding them. In this way, viewers can sense the artist’s hand as well as the time she has spent creating the works.

Amy Brener makes otherworldly sculptures that are embedded with an array of familiar consumer goods. Each object speaks its own story, carrying with it a reference to everyday life or an unknown history. Disparate things merge together into unexpected combinations that reflect our age of consumerism, overproduction and disposability. Her work can be seen as an attempt to freeze time, as she collects traces of our era and casts them into solid form, as though to be admired by future humans.

Ideas about time are woven into the works of all three artists in different ways. They carry with them references to different kinds of time. The craftsmanship that can be seen in the work of all three artists shows a longing for slowness and reflection in contrast to the hastiness of our time. Their works could even be read as an attempt to stop time or to step out of the present and into the timelessness of the artwork.

Curated by Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir.

The exhibition is supported by the Icelandic Visual Arts Fund.

About the Artists

Arna Óttarsdóttir (b. 1986, Iceland) received her BFA from Iceland Academy of the Arts (now Iceland University of the Arts) in 2009 and has exhibited regularly since, in solo and group exhibitions throughout Iceland and abroad. In recent years, she has had notable solo exhibitions at Nýlistasafnið – The Living Art Museum, i8 Gallery and Harbinger. In 2021, her work was featured in Iðavöllur: Icelandic Art in the 21st Century at the Reykjavík Art Museum. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at Nordatlantens Brygge, Copenhagen; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Åplus, Berlin; Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Stockholm and Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York. Arna lives and works in Reykjavík

Leslie Roberts (b. 1957, USA) makes work driven by color, language, and self-devised rules. She has exhibited in New York City and throughout the United States, at venues that include Minus Space, Marlborough Gallery, McKenzie Fine Art, 57W57 Arts, Pierogi, Kathryn Markel, Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY, PPOW, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York City; the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, North Carolina); and the Wellin Museum (Clinton, New York). In 2024 she received grants from the Gottlieb Foundation and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. Residencies include Yaddo, Ucross, Ragdale, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Skowhegan, and others. She holds a BA from Yale and an MFA from Queens College. Roberts has lived in Brooklyn for over three decades and is Professor Emerita at Pratt Institute 

Amy Brener (b. 1982, Canada) currently lives and works in New York. She graduated with an MFA from Hunter College in 2010 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions in the US, Canada, Europe and China. Highlights include exhibitions at MoMA PS1 in New York, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, The Speed Museum of Art in Kentucky, Galerie Pact in Paris, Wentrup Gallery in Berlin, MacLaren Art Centre in Ontario and Riverside Art Museum in Beijing. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, Vogue, CURA, Hyperallergic, Artnet News and The Brooklyn Rail. She is an Assistant Professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.