Hafnarhús D-36
Reykjavík Art Museum
14.03. — 12.05.2019

curated by Aldís Snorradóttir
Non Plus Ultra  

    Ever since in classical antiquity, the painting has, among other things, been used to imitate the real world and deceive the eye. It has been referred to as a window to another dimension. Steinunn Önnudóttir’s exhibition is a still life of sorts, simultaneously a painting and an installation. In chasing the real world, we get a glimpse of a struggle between the material and the intention. Steinunn approaches the work on the terms of the painting and stretches the concept’s form, material and texture.
    Steinunn deals with painting tradition in a wide sense, exploring the characteristics of the material and its manifestation through history and into the present. She reflects on reality and mimesis, what it and what pretends to be. Can something exist without existing in reality? How true to the original does the copy have to be? Is it enough to present a substitute, for a concept to take off? As well as pondering these questions, Steinunn invites the viewer to become a subject in the painting as soon as they enter the space.
    The title of the exhibition is a reference to the ancient view of the Greeks and Romans, who believed that the world’s end lay beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. “Non plus ultra” is Latin for “No more beyond”. By using this title, Steinunn refers to that which we do not see. What lies beyond the visible world?            
Text by Aldís Snorradóttir