Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir Director
Design & Collaborators
Studio – Studio
Arnar Freyr & Birna Geirfinnsdóttir
Jón Örn Loðmfjörð
Poet, PRist, Developer
The Living Art Museum (Nýlistasafnið) is a non-profit, artist-run museum and association, venue for events, exhibitions, performances, discussions and research. The museum was founded in 1978 in reaction to Icelandic art authorities disregard for contemporary art practices. The 27 founders, who met at an open meeting to discuss the then current situation in Icelandic cultural politics, were a diverse group at various stages of their artistic careers; some had been members of the SÚM movement, while others were still art students in the academy.
The Living Art Museum was founded as a non-political institution, with a pronounced engagement in reflections on society and cultural politics, and the role of introducing and maintaining a current dialogue on contemporary art locally and internationally.
The museum continues to be run according to its founding constitution, by a board of members elected by the association of The Living Art Museum. The museum’s extensive collection is based solely on donations by its members and friends.
Over the last 35 years, The Living Art Museum has offered a varied programme that has extended beyond art exhibitions, including performances, film and video screenings, live music, lectures and symposiums, poetry readings, and theatre.
Since its foundation The Living Art Museum has been an important forum in the Icelandic art community for introducing, reflecting, and debating the role of contemporary art.
In 2010 The Living Art Museum received the Icelandic Museum Awards.
•promote critical discourse and progressive practice in the field of visual art
•encourage and support emerging artists
•collect and preserve work by artists who are part of the museum’s history
•collect and preserve documents and data related to the museum’s history and collection
•collect and preserve documents relating to the parallel history of visual art, focusing on artist-run initiatives and performance art in Iceland
•continuously review its own institutional direction