May 12, 2014
Some words for Ísland, or Iceland as it's written in Icelandic: hoarfrost, white-hot, névé. And now, some pictures for Ísland, each of them on display at Robert Mann Gallery. Here work by the young Belgian photographer Lavigne, who (according to press materials) drove alone across Iceland for four months, evokes the kind of world that a 19th-century snowshoe-clad loner could love—spare, brightly lit, and miles from cities jammed with multi-story filing cabinets stuffed with people and their belongings. Snowmen, Reykjavik (2011) shows a circle of sun-faceted snow menhirs (clean white) foregrounding a lone soccer goal on a grassy field, a line of blue water and, farther in the distance, ghost-white houses. Phantom, Krossneslaug, Westfjords (2011) has a man just below the surface of a glacial pool, the dapple of light and liquid erasing his facial features. A Kelly green Excavator, On the Road (2011) raises the question of what Iceland needs to clear away in order to develop. Perhaps some precincts of the world deserve their blank spaces, Lavigne suggests, deserve to be left to themselves and their own quiet thoughts—like the faraway-eyed young woman in Hildur in Her Car, Mosfellbaer (2012), or the individuals taking the thermal waters in 2011's Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik. Or artists.
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May 12, 2014