Gerður Helgadóttir

1928 - 1975

Gerður Helgadóttir was a versatile and a prolific artist. She studied in the Art and Crafts College of Iceland and continued her education in Florence and then Paris, where she lived most of her life. Her black iron works in the fifties made her a pioneer of three-dimensional abstract art in Iceland. A couple of years later she created works out of fine steel wires, composing delicate compositions in space often with cosmic reference. When Gerður started welding bronze the forms of her works became irregular and organic and can be related to art informel. After a trip to Egypt in 1966 the influence of ancient Egyptian art can be detected in her works. Around 1970 Gerður returned to moulding plaster, terra cotta and even concrete, using simple circles with movement in many variations. Many were prototypes for monumental sculptures. Although Gerður all her life wished to devote herself to sculpture, she was also a distinguished stained-glass artist working mostly in Iceland and Germany. Her best known windows are those of Skálholt Cathedral and Kópavogur Church, Iceland. Windows by Gerður are also in churches in Germany. Her best known work in Iceland is a mosaic wall mural on the Customs House in Hafnarstræti from 1973.

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