12. April 2014 til 18. May 2014

Anna Jóelsdóttir - brot / fragment, fracture, fold, violation.

brot / fragment, fracture, fold, violation Working with oversize sheets of translucent drafting film, hand painted with acrylic and ink, paintings on canvas, and accordion books Jóelsdóttir transforms Ásmundarsalur the upstairs gallery, into a site where ideas, experience, and history, move across the space, bend, fold and break on wires and walls, are torn apart and reassembled, stapled, woven. http://www.annajoelsdottir.com/exhibits.html

brot / fragment, fracture, fold, violation

Working with oversize sheets of translucent
drafting film, hand painted with acrylic and
ink, paintings on canvas, and accordion
books Jóelsdóttir transforms Ásmundarsalur
the upstairs gallery, into a site where ideas,
experience, and history, move across the
space, bend, fold and break on wires and
walls, are torn apart and reassembled,
stapled, woven. Drawing from personal
experience, art history, and interpretations of
our fragmented existence, the structure and
content reflect our everyday unconscious
practice of creating personal narratives from
memory and our inevitable interpretations
and misinterpretations of human interaction.
Born in Iceland, Jóelsdóttir moved to
Chicago where she still lives and works. She
studied and received her Masters of Fine
Arts at The School of the Art Institute of
Chicago.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous
galleries and museums in the United States
and Iceland, including the Living Art Museum
Reykjavík, Museum of Contemporary Art,
Chicago, ASI Art Museum, Reykjavík,
Akureyri Art Museum, Stux Gallery, New
York, Hafnarborg, Hafnarfjörður Center of
Culture and fine Art, Zg Gallery Chicago, and
Clocktower Gallery, New York
Anna lives and works in Chicago
www.annajoelsdottir.com



Holding Thought: The Agile Work of Anna Jóelsdóttir
Terry R. Myers
I was not at all surprised by Anna Jóelsdóttir’s decision to
title this installation with an Icelandic word—brot—that has multiple
meanings. I have had nearly fifteen years of experience with her
work, and I have always marveled at her ability to produce so much
idiosyncratic difference using the sharp focus of the ways and
means of her production. Put another way (in reverse order), I’ve
never had any problem identifying her work as hers, but I know
better than to ever expect I’m going to see it like I’ve seen it before.
None of it is ever one thing only, and it is the manner in which it
keeps itself open—materially and conceptually—to being several
things all at once that makes it so convincing.
Brot can mean fragment, fracture, fold, and even violation.
Jóelsdóttir incorporates all of these states into the making of her
work on multiple levels: from the colorful micro-networks she
writes across the canvas or Mylar surfaces of her paintings,
drawings, and installations, to the usually white or translucent
macro-frameworks she builds to encapsulate individual works and
organize entire installations. It is this micro/macro orientation that
connects her work to artists like Julie Mehretu or Matthew Ritchie,
but I would argue that those comparisons are limited, as they have
to do more with appearance than what I want to consider here as an
especially responsive version of “reality.” What sets Jóelsdóttir’s
work apart is the degree to which it always seems to be changing, in
motion. A large part of this effect comes from her use of Mylar and
its ability to play with light, particularly in her site-relational
installations where it very much becomes an intrinsic part of the
materiality. This is why I was at first taken aback by svart/black when
I first saw it in her studio. At first glance it was like nothing of hers I
had ever seen before: drawn inward, and coated with layers of
(admittedly still luscious) black ink, it dangled in the middle of her
bright studio like a cocoon or carapace, somehow absorbing all of
the intense light that hit its exterior. However, once drawn into it (an
inevitable move, given the seductive glimpses inside provided by its
hive-like construction), its ability to capture and hold light almost as
a color or substance stimulated all of Jóelsdóttir’s moves and marks
in its world-evoking interior. Juxtaposed with a series of irregularly
shaped two-dimensional works that do fragment, fracture, fold, and
violate, svart / black initiates another possible approach for any of us
who interact with Jóelsdóttir’s work, to go ahead and get in it.
Holding her visual thoughts wide open for us, to my mind Jóelsdóttir
has more in common with artists like Polly Apfelbaum, Mary
Heilmann, and Amy Sillman, even if (or precisely because) her work
doesn’t resemble theirs. Like these artists, Jóelsdóttir perpetually
explores in the spaces between things like abstraction and
representation, and/or focus and diffusion, all the while, as she has
put it, “filling in” to make space for meaning and an open, agile
connection.
Terry R. Myers is a critic and independent curator based in Chicago and Los
Angeles. He is Professor and Chair of Painting and Drawing at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago, the author of Mary Heilmann: Save the Last Dance for
Me (2007), and the editor of Painting: Documents of Contemporary Art (






Til baka