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About the Artist - Lárus H List. - Lárus H List worked in the Akureyri Art Museum for 6 years under the guidance and tuition of Haraldur Ingi Haraldsson,

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About the Artist - Lárus H List. - Lárus H List worked in the Akureyri Art Museum for 6 years under the guidance and tuition of Haraldur Ingi Haraldsson, the ex-director of the museum and also Hannes Sigurðsson. Lárus H List demonstrated enthusiasm and diligence and made sure that he was well informed about all the exhibitions which were set up at the museum. Through his work Lárus H List came into personal contact with many artists both foreign and Icelandic and that had a considerable effect on his own work and creativity.
Hannes Sigurðsson, director of the Akureyri Art Museum.

Art and Magic Spells. - From the canvas we can tell, clearly, that Lárus List uses the technique of improvisation, allowing his inspiration a free rein and his brush to move freely over the surface of the picture in tune to this. Something akin to the new movement of painters of the eighties when their inspiration was at its peak. Art and Magic Spells has as its subject the world of elves and fairies and the hazy barrier between that and the everyday world of man. We can detect from the paintings that Lárus List has been influenced in some ways by a number of artists who have held exhibitions here in the Akureyri Art Gallery. BEHIND A WILD FREEDOM OF JOY AND PLAYFULNESS ONE GLIMPSES THE COLOURFUL CHILD OF NATURE WHO GOES HIS OWN WAY CARRIED OFF ON A SPARK OF NATURAL TALENT.
Bragi Ásgeirsson, Art Critic Morgunblaðið

Nature in the Blood 1998 Lárus H. List paints abstract works, nature oriented using oil colors on canvas. He has previously painted pictures of elves and fairies but now he sets aside the formation of objects - if one can refer to "the little people" as objects and allows the colours and forms to speak for themselves. The essence of these pictures is LIGHT itself and WINTER LIGHT in particular. The paintings are freely constructed, the colour contrasts often clear and the texture rough. But the neutral white is always strong and Lárus often chooses to paint this over other surfaces so that the underlying scene appears as if viewed through a snow blizzard. IN THIS WAY THE PICTURES CAPTURE SUCCESSFULLY THE WINTER WORLD OF THESE NORTHERN PARTS.

The fact that in this exhibiton Lárus H List uses not only oil but blood which he has had drawn from his own body will no doubt be of primary interest. The colour thus obtained is in fact of a beautiful hue - a deep, dark red. But it is the mark of his origins which must colour our views when studying his art. There is absolutely no doubt that the artist is challenging his audience and forcing him to think. There are few substances known to man which lend themselves better to symbolism or have such deep-seated connotations as blood, these inner waters which bathe the body and give sustenance to our organs and tissues. When blood is visible it is usually made so by the hand of violence, accident or even death itself. To face blood is to stand on the brink of an abyss. Thus one may say that the use of blood gives Lárus Lists' work an additional dimension. The touch of nature is no longer an innocent, harmless one felt at a distance. Suddenly it is connected to our heart's blood, that hidden sea within us which flows outwards to meet and merge with the forces of nature and keep alive the eternal question of the interplay of man and his environment.
Jón Proppé curator, teacher and art specialist.

Eskimo Art. (Art of the northern people) MOKKA in March 2000. As before, these new works by Lárus H List possess a certain fascination due to the unbridled thirst to create which they demonstrate. Here we see an artist who does not paint because he has been taught to do so or has chosen to pursue art as a career from a range of other possibilities; rather, Lárus H List paints because he must, because he experiences some need within himself which he cannot ignore. To feel such a need is, of course, the principal reason for the existence of art and this need is always to be found in the works of Lárus H List.
Jón Proppé, curator, teacher and art specialist.

The Virgin Mary - The Eyes of God In the National Archives, Reykjavík 25 March 1999 - The 2000th anniversary of the conception of Jesus Christ in the Virgin's womb.

These eyes are the best part of the objective imagery because they possess a strict and somewhat hardened mystique of the kind displayed by Andrea del Castagno and his uniquely tough technique of revelation. Larus's display of one painting, "The Virgin Mary - Eyes of God", in an otherwise empty hall, partitioned off on both sides by the glass shows an initiative which must be regarded as the most remarkable feature of the exhibition. -we would hardly talk of the immaculate conception - "conceptio immaculata" as this wonderful event is called in the Latin of the Church - if it it had been as messy and blood covered as Lárus List would have it? - the distant Mary of the Spanish master Velázquez - in the National Gallery, London - more true to the Holy Writ, although many find Her coldly logical in her odd solitude above the clouds. The large glass of Duchamp - in the Museum of Art in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, is also more profoundly mystical. - the artists' technique is interesting and does not lack emotion.
Halldór Björn Runólfsson, is a art-historian curator and a popular lecturer.

Life in the veins, veins in the land. - Once upon a time was written:

The man who binds his mind
To the sickle
In the hands of the reaper
Never can discern
The song of life
In the quickening seed.

(Kristján frá Djúpalæk: From Ode to a Stone)

This verse might be seen as applying to the dominant ideology of our times:
The man who binds his mind
To the rustle of the leaves
Of documentation
Has forfeited
His blood-brotherhood
With nature.

The fulcrum of the paintings by L.H.L. is a reminder of this "blood-brotherhood": that the land flows through our veins just as there are veins of life running through the land. These are crafted in the powerful spirit of good old modernist truths from the beginning of the century that although there is no direct line connecting art and physical existence, good art can open "a view, a secret window, a peephole" to reality. The works of L.H.L. are the veins connecting man to the land and a link between men themselves. Critics have interpreted this "blood-art" as threatening and unpleasant, an indication of all that is brutal and destructive: violence, disaster and death.

For me their spirit is completely different: mild and fusing: the covenant between man and nature and now, in the last one, the bloodtie between individuals. The reason for this interpretation one can find in the subject development of the paintings by L.H.L.: From the world of elves and fairies (Deiglan, 1997), to the veins and flowing quality of nature (Deiglan, 1998) and now finally Virgin Mary - Eye of God Everywhere can be seen the common factor of bloodties: integration, parting, agreement - with the past, the environment, one´s neighbour. Also the words of L.H.L himself indicate that this is the correct interpretation; words spoken in interviews and in self definition: his description of seeing the frost burst the fruit of the blueberry or of gazing on the life-blood of the earth flowing from the rupture of Kröflueldur. It is possible to understand and communicate with things outwith oneself if we do not become bogged down in formalities and verbosity, if we remember that the blood which runs in our body is the communal legacy of a nature which nurtures us all.

Hannes Pétursson wrote of the "lingering taste of roots" in the poems of Stefán G. There is the "taste of blood" in the works of L.H.L. But nobody should feel disgust at this taste unless he is totally alienated from his place in the natural world - from the stones at the bottom of a stream, a frost-bitten blueberry, an exhausted stallion on its way across the highlands - and the souls which approach, communicate and unite in an understanding of common humanity. The works of L.H.L. are in some ways unique in their subject matter but in other ways demonstrate the ancient truth which speaks of the earthbound nature of man, a truth which will not be hidden from those who sidestep the urge to become engulfed by the world of the written word.

Kristján Kristjánsson, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy.

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