Aron Reyr Sverisson

Island

Aron Reyr Sverrisson was born and raised in Reykjavik. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in his city, he gained a brief experience in Rome. In keeping with the prevailing trends in contemporary Northern European painting - from Michaël Borremans to Tim Eitel and Matthias Weischer - he interprets the spirit of the times by capturing epic moments of everyday life.

In his paintings, the Icelandic artist tells of the tension that exists in absence, when emptiness fills the entire space with itself. Paintings of great formal cleanliness and geometric precision describe glimpses of deserted and borderless lands or abandoned interiors with only a few objects hanging within, wrecks that are at once familiar and mysterious.

The pictures create an atmosphere dominated by the feeling of loneliness and foreboding, which is perhaps the most fascinating element of the work. A loneliness that never torments, an emptiness that is never scary. A loneliness that the artist has known and loved since childhood, in contact with the immeasurable and wild nature of his country. The environmental portraits function as small theaters that open themselves to the silent dialogue of things. “When I paint, I feel like a director putting together a film set, and the painting serves as a kind of stage for my conscience,” explains Sverrisson. “My intention is that the viewer can in turn use it as a theater for his memories and feelings.” Through measured and essential paintings that avoid didactic descriptions, the artist succeeds in giving the viewer the feeling of being a part of the event he describes. A lamp and a carpet keep company with an old mattress, a desolate scene on the wall reminiscent of a view of a deserted industrial area. The scaffolding between the buildings seems to point to an albeit precarious bridge between two existences. A row of armchairs from the 1950s in an aseptic waiting room evokes conversations that never took place. Two white canvases leaning against the cracked wall compensate for the liquid black of the night that permeates the windows. Tongues of ice slide down to the sea under a vast blue sky. These are everyday yet unexpected scenarios, familiar and disturbing, always fascinating, in which the invisible man is thus seen. We feel his presence and imagine his existence because we hear the echo of his steps, see the traces of his passage, the objects he used: the bed he slept in, the portrait he touched with his eyes, the radio that kept him company, the window he looked through. But he, the man, is not there. These are the places where he can talk about his life, recounting the dramas, dreams and hopes he has nurtured. These are things that keep the great structure of memory alive. The space or the landscape are only the excuse, the pretext, the metaphor, the allegory to use and keep something elusive: consciousness, thoughts, emotions. By moving and putting together the pieces of his personal mosaic, the artist exposes his soul. Collected in frames with rounded corners, reminiscent of old photographs or television screens, the interiors and views seem to come from the past, immediately like lightning. And together they form an autobiography of sorts through images that recreate an atmosphere of precise moments and places in the artist's life, which the viewer is invited to enter and browse and compare with his own experience or imagine different stories and characters. The bold use of color combinations and lighting that falls from above, as in a theater, or filters through a window, exerts a gentle effect on the poverty of the environment and covers it with unexpected grace. Thus the metamorphosis of everyday life takes place, which, illuminated by light, is charged with mystery. Just like in the theater.