the shadow of a rose not a rose

site - specific installation
2016 Paper Biennial Rijswijk Museum, The Hague, Netherlands
June 11 – September 18, 2016
Curator: Anne Kloosterboer

17 artists from different parts of the world created work for the Biennial: Sabine K.Braun (DE) Josef Bucheler (DE), Mandy Coppes -Martin (ZA), Anne ten Donkelaar (NL), Lauren Fensterstock (USA), Ina Geissler (DE), Dorthe Goedan (DE), Graphic Surgery (NL), Kim Habers (NL), Paul Hayes (USA), Anna Jóelsdóttir (IS), Yoko Kataoka (JP), Tracy Luff (AU), Karen Margolis (USA), Mathew Shlian (CA), Annie Vought (USA), Joyce Zwerfer (NL). 

Anna Jóelsdóttir's installation, the shadow of a rose not a rose, in one of the upstairs galleries, combines two and three dimensional work on painted drafting film, along with text that begins with the installation title. In the photos, part of the installations of Sabine K. Braun (DE) and Paul Hayes (USA) can be seen through the open archways to the two adjacent galleries. 


brot / fragment, fracture, fold, violation

site - specific installation
ASI Art Museum /
April 12 - May 18, 2014

Working with oversize sheets of translucent drafting film, hand painted with acrylic and ink, paintings on canvas, and accordion books, Jóelsdóttir transforms Ásmundarsalur. The upstairs gallery becomes a site where ideas, experience, and history move across the space, bend, fold and break on wires and walls, are torn apart and reassembled, stapled, woven. Drawing from personal experience, art history, and interpretations of our fragmented existence, the structure and content reflect our everyday unconscious practice of creating personal narratives from memory and our inevitable interpretations and misinterpretations of human interaction.

The installation is created in the space. The first few photos show some moments of the process.

The video gives a different perspective helped with music.



site - specific installation
Taste of Chicago /
Celebrity Chef du Jour
June 10 - June 14, 2013

Gastro is a common English-language prefix derived from the ancient Greek gastros ("stomach"). It is used in many words.
Gastronomy is the study of relationship between culture and food. It is often erroneously thought that the term is synonymous with the culinary arts, but in fact this is only a small part of this discipline. Gastronomy is interdisciplinary, related to the fine arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. (Wikipedia)

Below my installation, titled gastro, Celebrity Chefs of Chicago offered guests sit-down, three-course meals in a large air-conditioned tent. Students from the Washburne Culinary Institute assisted the chefs in preparation and serving.

In preparing my installation, I paint and draw with acrylic and ink on both sides of translucent drafting film. The size of the paintings used in this installation varied from small lengths of 32” x 24” to a large length of 25’ x 36”. Most of the paintings are 7’ x 36”. There were also 21 smaller paintings installed on each table.

The installation is created on site, where the paintings are shaped, twisted, bent, and combined with other paintings as they are attached to wires along the upper beams of the tent.

gastro existed for five days, about the same time as it takes for food to get processed in our system.

The guests are now gone, the tent back on the truck, and this artist is thinking of the temporality of all living things.

The photos are a reversed narrative, beginning with the completed installation, gastro, and then showing some of the installation process.

flying through the cuckoo's nest

paintings and site - specific installation
Zg Gallery, Chicago
October - November, 2012

One way to enter my work is through the drawing.
A simple tool like a pen, is usually what activates an idea. With a pen I can navigate the overflow of information, of calm or erupting emotions, confusion, understandings and misunderstandings. The fragments the pen delivers from the mind´s eye via the hand onto a surface as lines gather together into a universe of their own. It is an abstract place made of fragmented thoughts.

When the drawing works itself into a 2D painting, color,and brush add more information and expand the universe.

Accordion books, canvases, large and small, sticks, translucent drafting film, fabric,and large site specific installations reflect both restlessness, clarity, and confusion. They also address the blurred boundaries between painting, drawing, and sculpture.

I am interested in the inner logic of emotion and how reason or logic contain emotion. The logic series, flight, fury, control, and exploration, are examples of work wrestling with these opposites.

My work is generated in a dialogue between not knowing and knowing. When I begin I do not know where my work will go or end up. The process is terribly frustrating, but also exhilarating when it surprises me. - October, 2012 : AJ


site-specific installation
Clocktower Gallery, NYC

On May 18, 2011, the Clocktower Gallery and Art opened surge, a site-specific installation by Chicago-based Icelandic artist Anna Jóelsdóttir; curated by Alanna Heiss.

Working with oversized sheets of mylar hand-painted with acrylic and ink, Jóelsdóttir transforms the Clocktower’s Performance Gallery into a site where ideas, experience, and history billow and break across the space’s pillars, ceiling, and floor. At first delicate and ethereal, Jóelsdóttir’s sculptural canvases reveal a world in which connections and fissures occur with the paradoxical logic of intuition. Drawing from personal experience, art history, and interpretations of current events, surge’s construction and content reflect the everyday, unconscious practice of creating personal narratives from memory, and the inevitable interpretations and misinterpretations of human interaction.