Louisa Matthíasdóttir
Icelandic-American, 1917-2000
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Collected by a major museum
Tate
Selected exhibitions
2017
Biala and Louisa Matthiasdottir,
Reynolds Gallery
2016
Selected Works: New Arrivals,
Tibor de Nagy
2013
Louisa Matthiasdottir: Paintings and Works on Paper,
Tibor de Nagy

Louisa Matthíasdóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1917, and the clear light and colors of her homeland would be a frequent source of inspiration for her landscapes, portraits, and cheery domestic scenes, which eschew detail in favor of a painterly style of representation. She was at the forefront of Iceland’s avant-garde, and studied in Denmark and Paris before moving to New York in 1942 to study at the Art Students League. Soon, she left to take classes with Hans Hofmann. Inspired by Hofmann’s philosophies of structure and strong color, as well as by the Fauves and Edvard Munch, Matthíasdóttir combined the flat, geometric planes of abstraction with representational images—a style linked with her contemporaries Alex Katz and Fairfield Porter.