Stux Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by Icelandic artist Steingrimur Eyfjörd. Steingrimur Eyfjörd is the Icelandic representative to the 52nd Venice Biennale. Since the late 1970s, the artist has focused his attention on the culture, history and economy of Iceland. Eyfjörd’s far-reaching knowledge and intuitive understanding of his environment form the basis of his working approach, addressing issues of difference, identity, the unknown and the `other’.
On view at Stux will be a selection of works dating from the 1970’s to the present. Included in this grouping are The Elf Shoes, a custom pair of leather shoes that have been created according to the exact specifications of two Icelandic men, who as young boys a decade ago saw an elf and ran home to draw what they had seen. The shoes are accompanied by a set of drawings that include the original first hand accounts of the children and reproductions of their original drawings.
Steingrimur’s fascination with the myth and folklore of elves and trolls is linked directly to the early Icelanders need to describe or attribute natural phenomena, such as landslides and severe weather, to the supernatural. Taking this as his reference point, Steingrimur looked to the mountains of the remote Icelandic landscape for inspiration. In time, he started to see the personification of nature within the rugged profile of the mountains. Steingrimur then created his trolls, small metal sculptures, to make reference to the country’s landscape and, as a result, they are intrinsically linked to the soul of Iceland.
An abundance of similar stories of exchanges between humans and hidden people, between the subject and the `other’, can be found in Icelandic mythology. Eyfjörd weaves together seemingly arbitrary threads of culture, economy and politics from various moments in Icelandic history, without attempting to link them in any discernible way.