Katrín Elvarsdóttir: Double Happiness

15/1 - 27/2 2016

Katrín Elvarsdóttir shows her series Double Happiness, made in China in 2010-2014. Katrín depicts an image of a city on the boundaries of the everyday and the invented – characterised by the rhythm of moments and a narrative in the form of repetition. Nature in the city takes the form of plants which have put down roots in the manmade environment, and is reproduced on posters and in floral designs on garments and upholstery. Human life is seen in portraits of elderly women, pictures of homes, and found sculptures. But the subjects are not fully revealed: the women are shown from behind, moving away, and the homes are viewed from outside through half-closed curtains. The series is a still life of a city, while the audio work  Walk Straight, Turn Left provides an insight into the noise and the multitudes which surround the subjects. Katrín captures a stillness among the hordes of people which conflicts with the title – the Chinese character for happiness (twice) – used for special occasions and ornament. 

Katrín Elvarsdóttir (b. 1964) completed her BFA degree from the Art Institute in Boston in 1993. She had studied photography at Brevard Community College in 1990 and completed a BA in French from the University of Iceland in 1988. She has held many one-woman shows both in Iceland and elsewhere, including  Vanished Summer at Deborah Berke, New York 2014 and at the ASÍ Art Museum 2013, Nowhereland at the Reykjavík Art Museum 2010, Equivocal in Gallerí Ágúst in 2008/2010 and Home–Away at the Reykjavik Museum of Photography 2008. Katrín has participated in many group exhibitions, such as Anti-Grand at the University of Richmond Museum in 2015, No Site: Icelandic Landscape at Hafnarborg 2015, Visible Iceland at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington 2014, Nordic Art Station at Eskilstuna Konstmuseum 2013 and Frontiers of Another Nature at Hippolyte Gallery, Helsinki 2013. Katrín has been nominated for prestigious awards, such as the Deutsche Börse Photographic Prize in 2009. Katrín has also curated exhibitions and taught photography at home and abroad.

 The photo book Double Happiness is published by Crymogea in conjunction with the exhibition at Gerðarsafn – Kópavogur Art Museum. The book is the last of a trilogy, the previous volumes being Vanished Summer (2013) and Equivocal (2011).