July 3 – August 7, 2010 / Opening reception / July 3rd / 6 – 8pm
New paintings, collages, sculpture
Western Project is pleased to present new work by Icelandic artist, Heimir Björgúlfsson. Now a resident of Los Angeles, via Amsterdam, Björgúlfsson uses his cross cultural experiences in collage-based work. His mixing and layering of imagery establishes peculiar equations: birds, icebergs, geodes, dried cactus leaves, and border town walls, are de-contextualized and reconfigured as new thoughts: a taxidermy coyote balances a golf iron on its nose for a stuffed African Raven. As though Paul Bowles, Charles Darwin and Henry David Thoreau were riffing an uncanny harmony; rapture of survival, urban allegories for the 21st century
Björgúlfsson's work suggests the possibility of a disjunctive natural order. Images of ice and geographically unrelated bird species point to themes of polar-melting, interrupted migrations and hieratic confusion in the natural world. But a parallel theme of innate knowledge or re-ordering is present throughout.
From his surroundings, Björgúlfsson uses graffiti marked trees and road signs not as urban decay or imposed pollution, but as an unfamiliar kind of beauty. Because the iconic juxtapositions are so odd, the work relates a more powerful feeling of wholeness where nothing is half hazard. Ignoring the cliché of Man vs. Nature, the artist instead looks to illuminate the strange and effulgent beauty of this planet, and the connectedness of all things.
Björgúlfsson recently completed a solo exhibition at Barbara Seiler Galerie in Zürich, Switzerland, and was included in ‘Open Light in Private Spaces’ Biennial for International Light Art, in Ruhr, Germany, and ‘ljóslitlifun’, at the Reykjavik Art Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland. He has shown in museums and galleries in London, Belgium, the Netherlands, as well as Houston, Columbus, the Francios Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from the Sandberg Institute in 2003 and his BFA at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2001 in Amsterdam.
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