Iceland may be better known for its natural beauty than its art scene, but the opening of a multidisciplinary art space in Reykjavik is set to bring a new gravitas to the capital city’s burgeoning standing in the art world.
i8 Gallery, one of the most established art galleries in the Nordics, has opened an epic second space across the harbour from its existing location. The new i8 Grandi is located in the Marshall House, a cultural centre within a historic factory in the Grandi harbour district, which also houses the Living Art Museum, non-profit gallery Kling & Bang, as well as Olafur Eliasson’s private studio. Its two sprawling floors will be devoted to year-long exhibitions, each dedicated to a single artist.
‘I was involved in the transformation of the building from fishing factory to arts space in 2017, along with Ásmundur Hrafn Sturluson and Steinþór Kári Kárason of Kurtogpí Architects,’ recalls i8 Gallery’s co-founder Börkur Arnarson. ‘Taking inspiration from spaces such as the Löwenbräukunst in Zurich, we felt that Reykjavik could use a multipurpose arts space. In the almost five years the building has been open, I have considered its potential for various projects, and the idea of single-artist, long-term exhibitions is an exciting concept for i8 to embark upon in this space.’