Iceland’s favorite artist Johannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885-1972) grew up in the Borgarfjordur district and remained connected to the beautiful fjord his life through. In 2002 the Kjarval Experience opened in the Fjardaborg community center. The Experience shows this famous painter’s connections with the fjord and some aspects of his life. The exhibition pays tribute to the man and his work with prints of his portrait drawings of locals, movies and media clips.
Born in poverty, he was adopted and as a young man worked as a fisherman. However, he spent every spare time drawing and painting and managed to learn basics from artist Ásgrímur Jónsson. At age 27, with financial support from fishermen and the Icelandic Confederation of Labour he passed an entrance examination. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts for higher education in the arts admitted him and he completed his studies. During the Copenhagen years he became acquainted with various styles including impressionism, expressionism and cubism. He also became an accomplished draughtsman. Later he also took shorter trips to France and Italy.
The Kjarval Experience pays tribute to this great painter. It aims at showing his strong connection with the fjord and the eastern part of Iceland.