June 2 – August 6, 2011
Featuring Gudjon Bjarnason; curated by George Schroeder
“In the continuous and dynamic creating of self-generated objects and highly complex chaotic visual fields – often systematically pushed far from any notions of normal balance for a creative and critical stance- lies the essence of this project and my work overall. Shaping and manipulating situations of combined twisted madness and cold calculated methods for unknown potential and purposes, circumstances that are both fragmented and yet retain the narrow possibility of reconstruction, can offer a glimpse of a unified coherence in the mind of the viewer. My accumulated multi-disciplinary work is, in all its broadest sense, a very personal reflection about the meaning and function of the very essence of art itself in an active relationship to my inner world and imagination in contemporary times.”
Gudjon Bjarnason is an Icelandic born sculptor, visual artist and architect who exhibits his works internationally and lives and works in Reykjavik, New York, and Pondicherry, India.
For this complex multi-media exhibit at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, he has created, with the assistance of the San Antonio Police Department Bomb Squad, ten new large-scale exploded sculptural objects and installations. Additionally the exhibit includes numerous hand-painted transparent prints and photograph assemblages, as well as an architectural model. A six-minute art video of atmospheric explosions, “Six MINutes of SeperatiONs,” done in collaboration with Walley Films, is an essential part of this dynamic exhibit, which activates the whole main gallery at Blue Star.
Over the last two decades, Bjarnason’s work has been featured in more than forty exhibitions in museums, biennials and galleries across the United States and Europe, including the Nordic countries. Bjarnason is well known for his conceptual sculptural installations, which quite often utilize various kinds of explosives for systematic deformations of metal profiles from the building industry along with his complex black/white/gray tone multilayered semi-automatic printed paintings, negative black and white photographic series, slow motion and sound art videos, dynamic architectural and public sculpture models, and art books.
Gudjon Bjarnason studied at the Law Department of the University of Iceland, Rhode Island School of Design, BFA and B.Arch, School of Visual Arts, MFA and finally Columbia University, M.ARCH II where he graduated in 1990. He has taught at the Icelandic School of Architecture, the USA Institute at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and The Technical University of Verona as well as at Pratt University and Parsons School of Design in NY.
Bjarnason, in addition to continuously creating his multi-media art, which he displays internationally, often through HP Garcia Gallery in Chelsea, NY, works as a progressive designer in his own studio as well with the experimental architectural group ABZ-Associates. He has published writings in various journals on architecture and art. In addition to his own writings, a number of publications have been dedicated to Bjarnason’s art, such as “Minimal Baroque”; two catalogues published by the Nordic House in Reykjavik; “Contemporary Masters”, published by Art Source Inc.; “In The Forbidden Landscape”, published by the Henie Onstad Art Centre; “EXploding MEaning”, a 250-page art book published by the Reykjavik Art Museum with main article by Dr. Richard Vine and 25 other smaller commentaries by distinguished writers such as Lilly Wei, Thor Vilhjalmsson and Dennis Oppenheim, as well as several catalogues published by HP Garcia Gallery with essays by Jonathan Goodman and Thomas McEvilly. A new book on his work will be published in 2012.
Bjarnason, who recently took the position as creative director for the formation of the newly proposed Icelandic Sculpture Park at the archipelago coastline of Stokkseyri, has upcoming exhibits in New York, Beijing, Shanghai, Monterey, Melbourne, Lodz, Pondicherry, and Delhi.
A catalogue with forewords by Executive Director Bill Fitzgibbons and exhibit curator George Schroeder will be produced by Blue Star Contemporary Art Center following the “DySTOPic ProgressiONs” exhibit.
Gudjon Bjarnason is the newest artist in the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center’s Icelandic Cultural Exchange (ICE), part of the International Initiative Program. For his installation at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, Bjarnason lived and worked in San Antonio and created new painterly, photographic, video and large scale explosive installation metal works in San Antonio and surrounding areas for several weeks leading up to this major exhibition.
Detective Darren Philips from the San Antonio Police Department supervised, along with a team of expert pyrotechnicians detonating the highly specialized explosions for the creation of the new sculptural work. Many other individuals and firms from various creative fields in the San Antonio area assisted in the making of this highly energetic and unique exhibition.
For more information on the ICE pr