Bárður Jákupsson

In his abstract works Bárður Jákupsson combines the nature of art and the Faroe Islands. The works capture a constant changeability and transience, while their expression ranges from expressive, powerfully emphatic painting to more lyrical watercolours.

Exhibition 25 August - 21 October

Even though, in his colouristic, expressive works the Faroese artist Bárður Jákupsson draws his motifs from the landscapes of his childhood, the works give the viewer a clear sensation of contemporaneity and spontaneity. The experience has as much to do with painting as with nature. It is Bárður Jákupssons artistic talents and skill that enable him to translate sensuous natural experiences from his boyhood to magnificent paintings of today.

Bárður Jákupsson was born in Tórshavn in 1943. Even as a boy he took to the great outdoors to paint. This is where he learned how difficult it is to depict the heaviness of rocks and the lightness of clouds, and these material studies make up part of his artistic foundation.

When the painter himself describes the basis of his work, he refers to the dizzying experience of a small boat in the unfathomable depths of the ocean, situated under a lofty rocky coast, whose crags stand out in dramatic silhouette against the red evening sky.  It is enough to take anyone’s breath away, but also a position that does away with traditional central perspective and unleashes abstraction.

Mogens Andersen, a pioneer in the field of abstract painting in Denmark, was the one teacher at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts to make a major artistic impression on Jákupsson. It was from him that he learned about the power of line and became aware of French art.

As Director of the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands, for decades Jákupsson has been an indispensable and key figure in the cultural life of the Faroe Islands. Since leaving his post at the Museum in 2003 to devote himself wholeheartedly to painting, there have been several exhibitions of his monumental oil paintings. Their immense pictorial planes are rhythmically divided by vertical formations with dynamic zigzag patterns in intense spectral colours, balanced by cooler, bluish shades and earth colours.

During these years he has also perfected his unusual, small, light watercolours, which in several cases appear virtually non-figurative with organic, flowing lines, a shifting intensity of colour and, as a result, varying effects of light.

Kinna Poulsen