i8 Gallery is one of the oldest and most established art galleries in Iceland, founded in 1995. The Icelandic and international artists represented by the gallery are some of the world’s most influential conceptual artists, including Lawrence Weiner, Karin Sander, Olafur Eliasson, and Ragnar Kjartansson. The gallery also works collaboratively with other widely shown artists. They feature works by younger generations and historical figures in Icelandic conceptual art.
Tryggvagata 16, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 551 3666
Hverfisgallerí represents an eclectic collection of mostly Icelandic artists, including the textile artist Hildur Bjarnadottir, the late landscape painter Georg Guðni, and the Belgian minimalist painter Jeanine Cohen. The gallery shows exhibitions that are less starkly conceptual and more warmly experimental.
Hverfisgata 4, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 537 4007
The National Queer Organization, or Samtokin ’78, is an activist group for lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, transgender, and intersex people in Iceland. Their goal is for LGBTQIA people to be more visible, and to enjoy their rights to the fullest in Icelandic society. Samtokin ’78 Gallery is a newly opened addition to the organization and has begun to exhibit artists whose work supports the missions of the organization.
Sudurgata 3, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 552 7878
Gallery Port is easy to miss, as it is tucked between two shopfronts on the main shopping street of Laugavegur in the center of Reykjavik. The corridor that leads you into Port’s exhibition space looks more like a place where the cafés take out their trash than the entrance to a gallery, but once you step into the small room, the refreshing work on the walls offers respite from the commercial aesthetic of the street. This small space presents a generous mix of artists whose work ranges from street art to sculpture.
Laugavegur 23b, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 780 4327
Located in Reykjavik, the Wind and Weather Window Gallery is one that can be seen only from the street outside. Owned and operated by the American-Icelandic artist Kathy Clark, whose studio is behind the gallery, the space allows for artists to experiment with the capabilities of a window gallery. The curator’s inspiration for having a window gallery was to make exhibitions more inclusive and open to the public. In Iceland especially, the wind and weather are daily topics of discussion; here, the curator has made an exhibition space flow seamlessly into the daily discussion, blending art and life.
Hverfisgata 37, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 863 8033
Ekkisens is located in a basement on a residential street in Reykjavík, in the home of the curator Freyja Eilíf’s grandmother. This space is for emerging and experimental work of a particularly youthful aesthetic and opened in 2014 with an exhibition of 26 newly graduated art students. Such is the nature of the gallery scene in Iceland, taking things into one’s own hands and making the gap between art and life ever smaller. The title comes from an old Icelandic curse word that means “nonsense.”
Bergstadastraeti 25b, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland, +354 602 5114