Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing paintings or works on paper by Louisa Matthiasdottir.

Please call (917) 749-4577 or email us at info@beloosesky.com

 

Louisa Matthíasdóttir (February 20, 1917 – February 26, 2000) was an Icelandic-American painter.

 

Louisa was born in Reykjavík. She showed artistic ability at an early age, and studied first in Denmark and then under Marcel Gromaire in Paris. Her early paintings, dating from the late 1930s, established her as a leading figure in the Icelandic avant-garde community (many of whom met together in a house in Reykjavík called Unuhús). In these paintings, subjects are painted with a broad brush, emphasizing geometric form. These paintings already show much of the character of Louisa's mature work, but are more subdued in color.

Her move to New York City in 1942 was followed by a period of study under Hans Hofmann, along with other painters including Robert De Niro, Sr. (father of the actor) and Jane Freilicher. In 1944 she married painter Leland Bell, and until Bell's death in 1991 they enjoyed a partnership of mutual support. Louisa's first solo exhibition took place at Jane Street Gallery in New York in 1948. While her work of the 1950s saw her introducing elements of expressionism, from the 1960s until the end of her life she developed and refined the idiom of forthright color, uncluttered composition and brisk execution for which she is best known.

 

The paintings of Louisa's final three decades include Icelandic landscapes, a series of self-portraits, and tabletop still-life arrangements. The landscapes often include charmingly stylized depictions of Icelandic horses and sheep. She was to remain an Icelandic citizen all her life, the physical characteristics of her native land informing her bold treatment of form and clarity of light. The poet John Ashbery described the result as the "flavor, both mellow and astringent, which no other painter gives us."

Her work was included in the 1973 Whitney Biennial. In 1996, Louisa was awarded the American-Scandinavian Foundation's Cultural Award, and in 1998 became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She died in Delhi, New York in 2000. Her work is represented in many public collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and the Reykjavík Art Museum.

 

Biography from the Archvies of AskART and Wikipedia

 

 

Awards

Knight’s Cross of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon, January 1st 1988

The American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Cultural Award, 1996

Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1998

 

Public Collections

Albrecht Art Museum, Saint Joseph, Missouri

Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas, Austin, Texas

Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho Art Institute, Idaho

Gerdarsafn, Kopavogur Art Museum,Kopavogur,Iceland

Hafnarborg Institute of Culture and Fine Art, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana

The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum, Kjarvalstaðir, Iceland

New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine

Museum Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico

Tate Gallery, London, England

Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, New York

Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina

 

Solo Exhibitions

 

1948

Jane Street Gallery, N.Y.C, New York

 

1958

Tanager Gallery, N.Y.C, New York

 

1960

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

 

1964

(Also 1966,1968,1969,1972,1974,1976,1978,1980,1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1991)

Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, N.Y.C, New York

 

1970

Albrecht Art Museum, Saint Joseph, Missouri

Framehouse Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky

 

1972

Litchfield Art Center, Litchfield, Connecticut

Windham College, Putney, Vermont

 

1978

University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

 

1982

Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts

 

1983

Gross McLeaf Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

1987

Gross McLeaf Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bryggens Museum, Norway

Reynolds/Minor Gallery, Richmond, Virginia

 

1988

Meredith Long & Company, N.Y.C, New York

Donald Morris Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan

 

1993

The Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum, Iceland

 

1994

Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, N.Y.C, New York

“Louisa Matthiasdottir: Paintings,” Donald Morris Gallery, Inc., Birmingham, Michigan

“Louisa Matthiasdottir: Recent Paintings and a Selection of Portrait Busts,

 

1960-61

Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, N.Y.C, New York

 

1996

“Seeing and Painting: the Art of Louisa Matthiasdottir”, Kendal Campus Art Gallery of Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, Florida. Traveled to The American University, Washington DC; Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; New York Studio School, New York; Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, Washington; The Maier Museum of Art in Lynchburg, Virginia; Wright State University Art Gallery, Dayton, Ohio.

“Louisa Matthiasdottir, Paintings: 1930 – 1990’s,” Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington D.C

 

1997

The Minot Art Center, Norsk Hostfest, North Dakota

The Studio School, N.Y.C, New York

The Maier Museum of Art in Lynchburg, Virginia

The Minot Art Center, Norsk Hostfest, North Dakota

 

1998

Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, Virginia

Wright State University Art Gallery, Dayton, Ohio

“Louisa Matthiasdottir: Pastels”, Hafnarborg, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

 

2000

“Louisa Matthiasdottir: Paintings”, Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, N.Y.C, New York

 

2002

“Flanders Presents Louisa Matthiasdottir”, Flanders Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Paintings 1945-1995”, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, Virginia

 

2003

“From The Studio of Louisa Matthiasdottir”, Hafnarborg, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

“Paintings”, Salander –O’Reilly Galleries, N.Y.C, New York

“Louisa Matthiasdottir,” Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, N.Y.C, New York

 

2004

“Louisa Matthiasdottir: Landscapes,” Brick Walk Books and Fine Art, West Harford, Connecticut

 

2004-2006

“Louisa Matthiasdottir: A Retrospective“ Scandinavia House: Nordic Center in America, N.Y. C, Traveled in 2005 to Nordic Embassy Complex, Berlin, Germany; North Atlantic House, Copenhagen, Denmark; Akureryi Art Museum, Akureryi, Iceland.