Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Earth to Earth

February 21 - March 30, 2019

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Alleyway, 2019

Oil on linen

49.21h x 37.40w in
125h x 95w cm

GT035

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Prankster, 2018

Oil on linen

24.41h x 18.50w in
62h x 47w cm

GT031

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Ruins, 2019

Oil on linen

62.99h x 62.99w in
160h x 160w cm

GT036

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Fishermen, 2018

Oil on linen

24.41h x 18.50w in
62h x 47w cm

GT032

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Youth, 2018

Oil on linen

20.67h x 16.54w in
52.50h x 42w cm

GT033

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Mountain Troll, 2018

Oil on linen

63.78h x 63.78w in
162h x 162w cm

GT038

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Three Friends, 2018

Oil on linen

40.55h x 51.97w in
103h x 132w cm

GT034

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Entrance, 2019

Oil on linen

47.24h x 47.24w in
120h x 120w cm

GT037

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Boxing Glove, 2018

Glazed earthenware

11.81h x 9.06w x 6.69d in
30h x 23w x 17d cm

GT047-cer

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Sunhat (Sólhattur), 2018

Glazed earthenware

15.75h x 3.94w x 3.94d in
40h x 10w x 10d cm

GT051-cer

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Cigarette Butt, 2018

Glazed earthenware

8.27h x 4.72w x 8.27d in
21h x 12w x 21d cm

GT048-cer

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Pink Hat, 2018

Glazed earthenware

11.42h x 4.72w x 10.24d in
29h x 12w x 26d cm

GT049-cer

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Receptionist, 2018

Glazed earthenware

24.41h x 9.84w x 9.45d in
62h x 25w x 24d cm

GT050-cer

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Minions IX (Smámenni IX), 2018

Oil pastel on paper

25.50h x 19w in
64.77h x 48.26w cm

Framed: 28.50h x 22.50w in
72.39h x 57.15w cm

GT171-wop

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Minions I (Smámenni I), 2018

Oil pastel on paper

25.50h x 19.50w in
64.77h x 49.53w cm

Framed: 28.50h x 22.50w in
72.39h x 57.15w cm

GT173-wop

Guðmundur Thoroddsen

Minions II (Smámenni II), 2018

Oil pastel on paper

25.50h x 19.50w in
64.77h x 49.53w cm

Framed: 28.50h x 22.50w in
72.39h x 57.15w cm

GT172-wop

Press Release

Asya Geisberg Gallery is pleased to present Earth to Earth, a solo exhibition by Icelandic artist Guðmundur Thoroddsen. This will be the artist's fourth exhibition at the gallery. Still situated in a muted color palette paying homage to his homeland, Earth to Earth, continues Thoroddsen's exploration of masculinity, and more extensively, the painted surface. Through ceramics and painting, Thoroddsen eradicates his previous population of males that flagrantly pissed, farted and romped through institutions, coliseums and scenes of domesticity, in favor of a more plaintive arena for abstraction. In doing so, the artist heroically erodes his idée fixe - the notion of Maleness - and strips it down to its wretched bare bones. Thoroddsen performs a cleansing, an extinction of his subjects and their bravado and offers an apology by means of woeful barely-there figuration. What remains is a lugubrious cartoon, maleness disappearing into mere suggestion, and anthropomorphism, a Goofy-the-dog pastiche embodying the decaying male form.

Similarly, Thoroddsen's new ceramics seem prone and susceptible when compared with the humorous mock-trophies that dominated previous shows. Here, more symbolic and transcendental pieces such as "Boxing Glove" and "Cigarette Butt" interrupt the abstraction. These recognizable artifacts inherit the gloomy suspense of the painted surface, allowing Earth to Earth to bridge abstraction and figuration. "Pink Hat", the only clear depiction of male dominance in the entire show, feels uneasy, like an unwelcome guest.

In Earth to Earth, Thoroddsen hones in rather than pans out, urging the viewer to confront and navigate the many obfuscated forms. In the painting "Entrance", a smoking dog is beheaded by the horizon, whilst in "Prankster," a head betwixt chuckling and screaming looms alone in a room reminiscent of Francis Bacon's "Study of Pope X", its fair-weather brushwork deliquesces its visceral humanity. A dilapidated head metamorphoses into a ground of archways and hints of landscape in "Ruins". Teeth recede into the painted surface and plumes of smoke provide pools for pause amidst popping eyeballs, shadows, and voids. Thoroddsen's figures are mourning their previous incarnations, their pleasure and freedom eradicated. They now exist, motionless, without anatomy in oppressive murky infrastructures. Like Francis Bacon, Thoroddsen's vestigial framing traps the subjects in isolation or impromptu colloquy. The titular "Three Friends" segue back and forth in and out of graceful abstraction yet Thoroddsen toes the line between the real and the supposed, implying consciousness but denying us the joie de vivre. Whereas before our joy was in their bad behavior, now our pleasure is suspended with theirs, inviting us to reexamine how we could have been so happy to spectate in the patriarchal revelry for so long.

 

--Holly Jarrett