Ásmundur Sveinsson sculptures, Reykjavík

Ásmundur Sveinsson was an Icelandic sculptor and there is a museum dedicated to his works in Reykjavík. Here is a selection of his works that are displayed outside the museum. Some of them reflect local history, such as the washer woman sculpture. Women used to wash clothes in the natural hot springs in an area quite close to this museum.

These sculptures seem very modern to me, but they were mostly done in the 1930’s.

What do you think of these? Do you have a favourite? Can you tell what they all are?? I can’t figure out some of them…


11 thoughts on “Ásmundur Sveinsson sculptures, Reykjavík

      • Well, that depends. The beauty of doing abstract sculpture is you can always claim you meant it to look like that. 🙂 If your style is more towards realism, it depends what medium you’re working in.
        If it’s clay, you shrug and add some more and keep working.
        If it’s plaster — either a direct sculpture or a mould for casting bronze — you either curse a bit and patch with fresh plaster, or curse a lot and start over pouring plaster for a fresh mould.
        If it’s wood or stone, which are entirely subtractive substances (if you’re carving),and, say, the knee or arm falls off just as you’re reaching the finishing stages (as has happened to my mother)… You snarl and curse and stomp around for a while. Then you have a stiff drink. Then you contemplate the disaster, and try to figure out if you can adjust everything around it (such as re-carving the torso and creating a new arm that lies further back), or if the piece will now go reside in your back garden to have moss grow over it to conceal its wrecked form. This last option is more awkward if your piece is, oh, 25 feet high and weighs several tons.

      • I see what you mean, I never really thought about different mediums like that. Wood and stone must be the most challenging, or at least you might have to be more of a perfectionist than I am to work with them! I do like big pieces like these. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, but that has some really amazing pieces that are carved out of a single granite piece and are huge and immensely complicated.

  1. I was just there in September; I ought to remember the names of the sculptures but don’t. My favourite part of the museum was just to the left as one walks in — piles of finished and half-finished pieces, a jumble of assorted junk, and two cases of the tools he used. My mother is a sculptor (carves everything by hand!) and it looked just like her garage.

  2. Pingback: 10 free things to do in Reykjavík | I'd Rather Be In Iceland

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