Nina Tryggvadottir: Paintings from 1952 – 1963

Abstract Expressionism and Segue into the 1960s, Nina Tryggvadottir: Paintings from 1952 – 1963

David Richard Gallery is pleased to announce representation of Nina Tryggvadottir and present her first exhibition with the gallery, Abstract Expressionism and Segue into the 1960s, Nina Tryggvadottir: Paintings from 1952 – 1963. Tryggvadottir’s patch work abstractions derive from her close observation of nature, and she often describes her non-representational works as landscapes nonetheless. She was particularly influenced by the Icelandic landscape and Nordic light of her home country, where she would return annually to paint. The spatial effect of her abstracted landscapes relates to that of Paul Cézanne and Paul Klee.

Seeing her work as part of a historical evolution, Tryggvadottir has even cited baroque masters such as Rembrandt as influential figures in her development, connecting her work deliberately to art history. Her rich artistic career was interconnected in another sense, as she engaged internationally with prominent artists, critics, gallerists, and art historians, absorbing influence and engaging in critical debate. Tryggvadottir painted portraits, in a partially cubist style, and engaged with a range of media such as, printmaking, watercolor, collage, book art, glass, and mosaic.

The selection of paintings presented in this current exhibition track her development from tight geometric shapes, planes of pure color and well-defined form, to a more lyrical style and diverse color palette. In the 1960s, her shapes become less strict, breaking free from one another and beginning to flutter across a background of textured vertical strokes. Tryggvadottir created the background with a palette knife and often scraped away at the paint allowing for translucency, depth, and perspective.

Abstract Expressionism and Segue into the 1960s, Nina Tryggvadottir: Paintings from 1952 – 1963 will be presented December 15, 2017 through January 20, 2018 with an opening reception on Friday, December 15, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at David Richard Gallery’s newly renovated Santa Fe location at 1570 Pacheo Street, Suite E2, Santa Fe, NM 87505, P: (505) 983 – 9555. There will be a gallery discussion of Abstract Expressionism and Segue into the 1960s with Una Dora Copley and Scott Jeffries (daughter and son-in-law, respectively, of the artist), moderated by Kathryn M Davis of Artbeat Santa Fe on December 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm. A digital catalogue will be available online. In addition to this solo exhibition by Nina Tryggvadottir, the presentation, Abstract Expressionism and Segue into the 1960s, also includes a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Alcopley, who was married to Tryggvadottir.

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Nina Tryggvadottir, Abstraction (NT-OL-62-02), 1962, Oil on linen, 18″ x 23.94″
Copyright © The Estate of Nina Tryggvadottir, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

About Nina Tryggvadottir:

Nina Tryggvadottir was born in 1913 in Seyðisfjörður, on the East coast of Iceland, where she was raised before moving to Reykjavik with her parents. Tryggvadottir was interested in art from an early age and would take art lessons from her uncle, the landscape painter Ásgrímur Jónsson. In 1935 Tryggvadottir went to Copenhagen to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, following which, she lived in Paris. After returning to Iceland at the outbreak of WWII, she went to study in New York on a stipend from the Icelandic State. There, she studied under Morris Kantor, Hans Hoffman and Fernand Leger, and exhibited at the prestigious New Art Circle Gallery run by JB Neumann. She was asked to create stage sets and costumes for a staging of the famous ballet, Soldier’s Tale, by Igor Stravinsky and CF Ramus. After being banned from the US under McCarthyism, Tryggvadottir lived in Paris, where she exhibited at the Musée d’Art Moderne and London, where she showed works at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and also presented numerous solo exhibitions at galleries throughout Europe. She was permitted to move back to NY in 1959 where she lived and worked until the end of her life in 1968.

Tryggvadottir has exhibited internationally and her work resides in numerous private and public collections throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States, including: the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, France; The National Gallery of Iceland; The Reykjavik Municipal Art Gallery, Iceland; and Musee D’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.

About David Richard Gallery:

Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field— in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established and very new artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.

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In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. Opening the second location in New York in 2017 exposes the gallery’s artists to new markets, institutions and collectors.

For additional information please contact:
David Eichholtz, Manager
M: (505) 467-9742
M: (917) 853-8161
David Richard Gallery, LLC
Harlem – 211 East 121 ST | New York, NY 10035
O: (212) 882-1705


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Hello, my name is Isabella Shores.I'm a dog lover with two Alsatians.A bird lover...2 budgies, and an avid writer.

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