Eggert Pétursson: FLORA: Pori Art Museum, Finland

12 February - 28 August 2016 

From a distance, Eggert Pétursson’s (b. 1956) paintings may look like abstract colour compositions, but a closer look reveals that the motif is Icelandic flora, flowers and plants. Pétursson’s paintings are a fascinating blend of botanical accuracy and free painterliness. In places the paint becomes layered, creating a peculiar landscape-like texture which alternates with life-size pictures of meticulously depicted flowers.


The exhibition will be opened by Dr. Jyrki Siukonen (Doctor of Fine Arts)

Pétursson studied the nature of his native Iceland already as a young man, and subsequently illustrated a guidebook on Icelandic flora (Íslensk flóra með litmyndum, 1983). The magnificent original illustrations were republished in 2008 in a special limited edition of 500 under the title Flora Islandica. Pétursson’s academic training centred on conceptual and experimental art. As a result of his close connections to Fluxus artists in the late 1980s Pétursson perhaps surprisingly took up painting, steeping himself in a topic that was close to his heart, the special features of Icelandic flora. Pétursson once playfully commented that the emphasis on experimentation and cross-disciplinary interaction in Fluxus taught him that painting too can still be art, and even floral paintings can be contemporary art. Pétursson’s art is conceptual at heart, albeit very visual and painterly. His themes also point towards issues of the Arctic nature. Pétursson has created a unique world of his own, which nevertheless bears a close relation to the Icelandic traditions of landscape painting and lyrical art. This has also made him one of the most beloved artists in his home country.


Eggert Pétursson lives and works in Reykjavík. Pétursson studied at the Icelandic School of Art and Crafts in Reykjavík and in Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. He has exhibited in numerous museums, including the Living Art Museum in Reykjavík, the Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstaðir, Museum Fodor in Amsterdam, and the Kópavogur Art Museum – Gerðarsafn. Eggert received the second prize in the 2006 Carnegie Art Award (the exhibition toured to Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Reykjavík, Nice and Copenhagen).


Produced by the Pori Art Museum, Eggert Pétursson – Flora showcases the artist’s paintings from the early 1990s to the present. The most recent works are from 2015 and are now exhibited for the first time in Pori. Works for the exhibition have been loaned by several private collectors, some in Finland but mostly in Iceland. Works have also been loaned by the National Gallery of Iceland, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, and the Sara Hildén Art Museum. The exhibition is produced in cooperation with the Icelandic i8 Gallery.