Horizons by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir

TITLE: Horizons
ARTIST: Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir
DATE: 2007-08
MATERIALS: glass, iron
TYPE: sculpture

How do you encounter Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir’s provocative Horizons (2008)? Does the work invite you to stray off your narrow path or does it quicken your step? Does it turn your head or fix it to the ground? Do you identify with one figure more than another? Or do they repel you? In other words, how do we square with these strange entities?

These life size cast iron figures are designed to age and weather over time, developing a patina that connects them, more and more, to the natural world. In their transformation, they invite us to connect our own aging processes to those of the earth.

But why are these figures, as a group, named Horizons? Look closer and find insets of green glass slipped into each body (except one!), references to the vast horizons that exist outside of Thórarinsdóttir’s Icelandic studio.

“The horizontal glass lines in the figures connect them to each other,” she explains. “But the glass also opens them up to daylight. So, it’s like a window that allows us to look into the inner world, the core.”

A temporary installation, this sculpture lived at IUPUI from 2018 to 2021.

Horizons the Art of Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir by Frank Cantor