Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson: Infinite Space, Sublime Horizons

Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson: Infinite Space, Sublime Horizons

Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art

Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson, Double Rainbow #1, 2022. Silk thread and dyes, 26 x 34 inches. © 2023 Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson. Courtesy of the artist and Abattoir Gallery, Cleveland. Photo: Tim Safranek

August 21, 2023
Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson
Infinite Space, Sublime Horizons
August 26–December 10, 2023
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90263
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +1 310 506 4851

The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University presents the first West Coast exhibition of Cleveland-based artist Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson (b. 1963, Reykjavík, Iceland). Jónsson creates exquisite large-scale paintings on a loom, in a practice that blurs the boundaries between painting and weaving, fine art and craft. Bringing together Jónsson’s largest and most labor-intensive paintings yet, alongside smaller paintings, drawings, and watercolors, this presentation will be the artist’s first solo museum show in the US in nearly a decade. Organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, the exhibition will be on view in Malibu from August 26 to December 10, 2023, and will travel to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, in February 2024.

Born and raised in Iceland, Jónsson has spent the last 30 years in Cleveland, Ohio, where she has made increasingly ambitious work that veers between abstraction and representation, with deep connections to Iceland’s otherworldly environment. Jónsson’s woven paintings are based on photographs she takes of Icelandic landscapes and seascapes on extended trips there twice a year. Her work, however, is anything but straightforward landscape painting: by framing what she sees with her camera, further cropping selected images in her studio, distilling form through preparatory drawings, intensifying the palette, and finally painting silk threads wet-on-wet so that colors blend and bleed, Jónsson abstracts her source material so that it becomes less about the documentation of a specific place and much more about capturing feeling, movement, and energy. To achieve that clarity of sensation, Jónsson has pioneered a unique method of weaving in which she paints both warp and weft threads before they are woven together, allowing her to produce textiles that are suffused with a coherent, painterly image.

Singular in technique, Jónsson’s practice speaks to the blur of memory and passing time; to the legacy of color field painting, particularly the saturated canvases of Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Morris Louis, and others; and to the realities facing our changing planet, as the climate warms and the glaciers that dot Iceland begin to melt, forever altering the landscape that motivates her work.  

Opening reception
Saturday, August 26, from 3–6pm, with a conversation between the artist and exhibition curator at 4pm.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue designed by Content Object Studio, with texts by Weisman Museum of Art director Andrea Gyorody, art historian Jenni Sorkin, and curator Cathleen Chaffee. The catalogue is available for purchase at the museum.

Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson: Infinite Space, Sublime Horizons is organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University. The exhibition is curated by Weisman Museum of Art director Andrea Gyorody with assistance from former museum assistant Carson Vandermade and former director’s intern Lisette Isiordia. Generous support for the exhibition and accompanying publication has been provided by the Pasadena Art Alliance, Scott Mueller, and William Busta and Joan Tomkins. Crucial assistance has been provided by Abattoir Gallery, Cleveland, and Tibor de Nagy, New York.

About the Weisman Museum of Art
Dedicated in September 1992, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University showcases modern and contemporary art by internationally recognized artists, with a focus on the art of California. Over the past 30 years, the museum has organized solo exhibitions of work by Lita Alburquerque, Larry Bell, Dale Chihuly, Richard Diebenkorn, Jim Dine, Mercedes Matter, Claes Oldenburg, Alexis Smith, Wayne Thiebaud, and Andy Warhol, among others, in addition to presenting thematic exhibitions, including The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection (2021), To Bough and To Bend (2022–23), and numerous exhibitions drawn from the museum’s permanent collection and from the collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation.

Located on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus, the museum is open Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm, and is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is always free and advance reservations are not required. 

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Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
August 21, 2023

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