The dual theme of authority and rebellion is a departure point for Gardar Eide Einarsson’s visually hermetic, mostly black and white paintings, carefully constructed sculptures, photographs, videos, flags and flyers. Drawing heavily on graffiti, skateboarding and punk music, he engages with alternative and abject cultures in order to unsentimentally address the workings of contemporary society from within its anomalous manifestations.
In one expression of this desire, Einarsson appropriates everyday imagery to reveal how mass media, and the advertising industry in particular, controls our beliefs and actions. By re-contextualizing corporate logos, tattoos, and graffiti scripts together within the institutional setting of the art exhibition, he constructs a powerful, sophisticated, political irony. Similarly, the artist has selected simple pop-cultural slogans and painted them onto museum walls, printed them on flags, set them in light boxes and stenciled them against metal surfaces. Through this straightforward act, Einarsson creates a complex layering of meaning, with a strong underlying critique of manipulation, abuse and violence.
In the exhibition, “Power Has a Fragrance,” Gardar Eide Einarsson explores the principal structures of social conflict in modern society. Reflective of his international career, he expands his complex network of references beyond western culture and the historical present.
Currently dividing his time between Oslo, Tokyo and New York, Einarsson is among the most celebrated young Nordic artists to have emerged in recent years.
The exhibition was on show in The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway, and will travel from Reykjavik Art Museum to the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Sweden. Curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran, director of Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Hafþór Yngvason director of Reykjavik Art Museum and Sara Arrhenius director of Bonnier Konsthall.