«back to critical writing

Contemporary Nature/Náttúra samtímans
Element/Frumkraftur Joan Perlman

by Ragna Sigurðardóttir
Morgunblaðið   August 27, 2007

The American artist Joan Perlman first visited Iceland after dreaming about its landscape. She is now showing the result of her trips and experience to the public in the form of paintings and digital video at Hafnarborg. The paintings are an abstracted vision of closely observed surfaces of earth and water. Her exhibition is intimate and convincing.

The paintings are multi-layered, an interplay of coincidences -- the unexpected chemistry of colours and paint and how the artist controls it all. The colour palette is reminiscent of geothermal areas, turquoise and grays, creating a moody interplay of foreground and background with interesting depths. Wind and rain are also alluded to, creating a powerful feeling. The digital video of the glacier rivers reminds one of Roni Horn's pictures of the river Thames, or the striking video project of Steina Vasulka which was recently shown at Hafnarborg. In her video of the glacial rivers, Perlman succeeds in communicating the dynamic and strong element of her art and artistic process. (Translated by Melinda Kumbalek and Sigrún Þorsteinsdóttir).