Margrét H. Blöndal: Þín er vænst / Do not go roughly into that good night

23 May - 6 July 2024

i8 Gallery is pleased to present Þín er vænst / Do not go roughly into that good night, an exhibition of new work by Margrét H. Blöndal, which will be on view from 23 May until 6 July 2024. This show, Blöndal’s fourth with i8, features paintings on paper in a variety of sizes, all made this year. 

Within this body of work, Blöndal continues her use of pigment and oil on paper while painting in her signature lyrical style. The poppyseed oil permeates the paper, controlling the fluidity of the pigment and creating a translucency around the delicately rendered images. While abstracted, Blöndal’s compositions touch upon the familiar, as the works sensitively explore color and form.

Blöndal approached the exhibition at i8 through a musical lens, likening the installed works to a chord progression within the space. By hanging the paintings at various heights and densities, the artist creates a particular cadence that guides the visitor through the space in a metrical manner.



The page, pristine and capricious. The only way is through. Isn’t that so?
_______Indeed. Þín er vænst. You are expected.  
_______Okay now, the material makes a difference. Pigment powder and oil, the elements raw and unblended. And the page, a sandwich wrapper from an old war, obstreperous at times. Every so often, the hand trips, then gets itself back on track. It’s a wrestling match, the material goes where the material goes, and there’s nothing to be done but to spar gently, caress roughly, follow the forms like a tail trails a kite, drive the forms like steam drives an engine. Where does this sensation in your fingertips come from? Resistance and surrender, acceleration and deceleration. A 4x4 drives slowly across a wide and torrential river in a crescent-shaped arc. Giant boulders and grains of sand, force and fortitude. The rapids reach up to the windows, the fear that she’s gotten in too deep. And after every fording, the same amazement that the vehicle has withstood the onslaught. 
_______Onwards, into that good night. 
_______Is there a difference between ensnaring and emancipating form? Between ensnaring and emancipating verbs? The sprightly bird in flight follows but the weather and wind. Likewise does the demanding day push and pull. But these verbs provide a fixed point from which to kick off, take flight, set things in motion. Somewhere out there is a paper-thin path, barely visible, leading up into that good night. The night vacillates between murk and brightness; a state that is sometimes brief, and sometimes lengthy. A sanctuary of one’s own, where the forces have full access to you, a direct line guaranteed. The landscape is mirrored back and forth, form by form, verb by verb. And you, þín er vænst, you are expected, again and again, night after night. Að vænta, to expect, and vinur, friend, these words are derived from the same root. But for now, it’s important not to use force, get stuck, spin your wheels. Nowhere is the substrata more delicate than it is here.  

Fríða Ísberg


Margrét H. Blöndal (b. 1970, Iceland) lives and works in Reykjavík. In 2022, Blöndal had a major solo exhibition at The National Gallery of Iceland titled Liðamót/Ode to Join. Other solo shows include exhibitions at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, USA; and Reykjavík Art Museum. Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including the 6th Momentum, Moss, Norway; Manifesta 7, Trentino, Italy; and Kunstverein Baselland, Switzerland. In 2009, she was the artist-in-residence at the Laurenz Haus Stiftung, Basel, Switzerland.

Installation Views