Hreinn Friðfinnsson
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— Hreinn Friðfinnsson Foundation
The foundation’s aim is to keep the cultural heritage of the artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson alive and in circulation. The articles of the foundation contain three specific objectives:

  1. Managing the artworks and rights from the estate of Hreinn Friðfinnsson
  2. Promoting the works of Hreinn Fridfinnsson, possibly through exhibitions
  3. Forming a platform for artists who feel connected to his work

Hreinn Friðfinnsson is an internationally reknown conceptual artist. Born in 1943 in Baer Dölum, Iceland, he has been living and working in Amsterdam since 1971. Friðfinnsson was co-founder of the Icelandic avant-garde artists’ collective SÚM in Reykjavik in 1965. From 1972 to 1974 he was a member of In-Out Center, the first artist-run space in Amsterdam. During the same period until 1980 he ran a small gallery named Fignal with Hlif Svavarsdottir at their home on the Kerkstraat and later the Banstraat in Amsterdam.

Friðfinnsson has exhibited internationally since the 1970s. He had solo exhibitions at prominent institutions such as the National Gallery (Reykjavík), the Serpentine Gallery (London) and Bergen Konsthall (Norway). He participated in Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2017 with his famous House Project (1974 – ongoing). In 2018-2019 his career was highlighted in a major traveling retrospective To Catch a Fish with a Song: 1964-Today, at KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin and Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva. For this occasion a catalogue raisonné Hreinn Friðfinnsson: Works 1964-2019, has been published by Koenig Books. In 2019 an extensive solo show Midnight Jump took place in Rozenstraat- a rose is a rose is a rose in Amsterdam.

The artist uses various media to convey his ideas, such as photography, sculpture, drawings, text, installations, video and ready-mades. His work has been characterized as poetic and playful and can be almost anything: a photograph, a story, a tracing, an atmosphere, a quasi-scientific experiment, a paint stirring stick or a secret. Friðfinnsson‘s works are often structured around dualities and reversals – between inside and outside, light and dark, near and far, seen and unseen, cognition and perception, dreams and waking reality. A doubling twist is also apparent in Friðfinnsson‘s playful use of text, manipulating images by pairing them with a narrative. Other motives in his work are a link to his Icelandic roots and tributes to artists. Both in form and content Friðfinnsson‘s oeuvre is hard to pin down. The works remain in state of flux even after their conception, often older pieces are re-used or transformed. In Friðfinnsson’s world there is always a surprise lurking around the corner.

Hreinn Friðfinnsson is represented by Galería Elba Benitez (Madrid), Galerie Nordenhake (Berlin, Stockholm, Mexico City), i8 Gallery (Reykjavik), Meessen De Clercq (Brussels), Galerie Papillon (Paris)

— Goal
The Hreinn Friðfinnsson Foundation is formally a foundation under Dutch law. The title ‘Foundation’ will be used for international purposes. 
The foundation is a non-profit-oriented institution with an explicit cultural purpose. The foundation board consists of at least three members. When it was established, the board was formed by three people who are involved in the objectives. The members of the board do not receive any financial reward for their work. As the board focuses more on achieving the objectives, there will be a need to expand the board to the legal maximum of seven people. This explicitly envisages board members who are involved in the work of Hreinn Friðfinnsson and who can contribute to achieving the objectives.

The activities of the foundation will be assessed on the basis of three concrete goals. We must remember that as long as the artist is alive, the foundation will exercise restraint.

  1. Managing the artworks and rights from Hreinn Friðfinnsson's estate. In essence, this will only come up for discussion after death of the artist. At that time, the foundation will act as an executor under Dutch law. The board is currently expressly offering to support the ongoing process of inventorying all of Friðfinnsson's work. He himself has been working on a full inventory of his work for some time now, and is supported by two assistants. The board sees a complete inventory as indispensable for achieving the long-term goal of the foundation and will therefore offer support for this. The board will also explore the long-term possibilities for storing the works of art actually owned by Friðfinnsson.
  2. Promotion, possibly through exhibitions, of Hreinn Friðfinnsson's oeuvre. On the longer term, the board can explore the other possibilities for exhibitions in the Netherlands.
  3. Forming a platform for artists who feel connected to his work. The best route for this in the short term is to join concrete events.

Financial arrangements of the foundation are as follows:

The foundation has no structural income and will not carry out commercial activities. The foundation will depend on small donations for current expenses, for example:  a website, limited office resources and the like. Fundraising will be discussed for concrete projects, such as the making of an inventory and the archive of his entire work, an exhibition, a publication of a book, a seminar, etc. The board will always make a concrete proposal for this with objectives, intended realization and requested resources.

Board Members

 Rob van de Ven, chairman
Rob van de Ven is an artist based in Amsterdam. He was co-founder and editor of Zapp Magazine, an international art videozine released on VHS in the 90’s. He has curated and designed exhibitions and produced many artist videos. In 2020 he curated with his partner Corinne Groot, Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s exhibition Midnight Jump at Rozenstraat - a rose is a rose is a rose in Amsterdam.

 Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson, treasurer
Is an Icelandic visual artist who lives in Berlin. He studied from 2005-2012 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where he obtained his BFA and MFA in fine art. He worked as Hreinn Fridfinnsson’s assistant and studio manager from 2006-2016. During these years Styrmir assisted Fridfinnsson in all fields of the practice. He helped the artist conceptualise works, produced pieces, installed shows in galleries and took care of correspondences with the artist’s network. Now Styrmir works actively on his own artistic practice. He exhibits and performs internationally, in festivals, museums and art spaces.

 Yana Foqué, secretary
Yana Foque is a Belgian curator with a background in design, whose main interest lays in the exploration of the notion of co-authorship, the relationship between artists and their assistants/ partners and the social/political/historical structures that shape these collaborations. She was a resident at the forward looking institute Werkplaats Typografie from September 2013 until June 2015, during which she focused her time on defining her curatorial practice and field of interest. Since then she has been employed as an independent curator at Kunstverein, Amsterdam under the directorship of Maxine Kopsa. From 2016 until 2017 she was also part of the curatorial team De Vleeshal, Middelburg alongside Roos Gortzak. These two positions have given her the pleasure to work on exhibitions with; a.o. Hreinn Fritfindson, Jennifer Tee, Will Holder, Robert Wilhite, Robertas Narkus, Valentina Desideri, Amanda Ross-Ho, the Noa Eshkol (foundation), Lina Lapelyte to name just a few. As an independent curator, she ran her own space, put together a number of exhibitions, events, concerts, talks, conferences, and edited several books. Since 2019 she holds the position of Executive director & Chief curator of Kunstverein (amsterdam), and its affiliated publishing house and franchise.

Former Board Members

— Hlíf Svavarsdóttir, chairman
Hlíf started dancing in Iceland and studied at the Royal Ballet School in London. Together with Hreinn Friðfinnsson she moved to Amsterdam in 1971 where she joined the Dutch National Ballet. In the mid 70’s to early 80’s Hlíf and Hreinn ran a small home gallery named Fignal. Hlíf has danced with several companies. She has pursued various professional avenues and has fulfilled many managerial posts in The Netherlands and abroad.

— Hans Denijs, treasurer
Hans has worked predominately in the field of urban planning and development, housing and urban renewal. As director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Amsterdam and later as consultant he managed large-scale urban renewal projects. As a child he developed an interest in music and visual arts, which ultimately led to his role in setting up the Hreinn Friðfinnsson Foundation.

— Corinne Groot, secretary
Corinne is a historian and curator based in Amsterdam. She was co-founder of Zapp Magazine, an international artzine released on VHS videotape in the 90’s. She has curated and designed exhibitions for museums and galleries and conducts research projects. While investigating In-Out Center she met Hreinn Friðfinnsson who was one of the members of this legendary artist space in Amsterdam (1972-1974). The project (in collaboration with Tineke Reijnders) culminated in an exhibition and online archive. In 2020 she curated Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s exhibition Midnight Jump at Rozenstraat - a rose is a rose is a rose in Amsterdam with Rob van de Ven.

— Contact the Foundation

RSIN nummer Stichting Hreinn Fridfinnsson: 8602.769.71