Friday, 04 October 2013 11:09

Tang Celebrates Icelandic Artist Hildur Jónsson

By Staff Report | Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS – For its 25th Opener Series exhibition, Skidmore’s Tang Museum features the lush paintings on woven silk of Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson, a Cleveland-based artist whose work is inspired by the distinctive landscape of her native Iceland.


This exhibit, which runs through December 29, explores the overlap between painting and textile with shimmering paintings on hand-dyed, woven silk thread. 

Often monumental in scale, Jónsson’s imagery comes from an intriguing range of sources, including brain scans and celestial objects in addition to the Icelandic landscape. 

Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Jónsson returns yearly to her native country to hike and take photographs that become starting points for her artistic process. She selects details such as mountainous silhouettes or glacial crevices, which she then isolates, enlarges and transfers to woven paintings in her studio. 

The complex process includes hand-dyeing the threads before weaving them together on a 10-foot-wide loom. 

“I’ve made it in my head before I’ve made it with my hands,” said Jónsson and though she points out that while there is a plan “there is always a note of surprise and I think that’s absolutely necessary for the work to be successful.” 

Jónsson’s works at the Tang all date from the last five years and they are being shown together for the first time. The opportunity to exhibit in a gallery of this size came at an opportune time for the artist as she began her recent exploration of larger-scale works. 

“Hildur fits perfectly as she is now realizing a turning point in her studio. It’s the perfect time to look closely at the amazing results of this shift,” said Tang Director Ian Berry

The Opener series is made possible with the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Overbrook Foundation and the Friends of the Tang. 

The Tang Museum will host a Fall Exhibitions Reception on Saturday, October 19 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to celebrate this show and the public is also invited to a dialogue with Jónsson and Skidmore geosciences professor Kyle Nichols on Monday, October 21 at 7 p.m.

The Tang Museum is open noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday–Sunday, with extended hours through 9 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information call (518) 580-8080 or visit


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