Eins langt og augað eygir (As far as the eye can see)

Birgir Andrésson Icelandic

Not on view

The phrase at the top of the eponymously titled painting, Eins langt of augað eygir (As far as the eye can see), is intended to suggest the idea of distance while at the same time stating the obvious fact that the eye literally sees no further than the wall’s two dimensional surface. The text and numerical reference at the bottom of the wall painting refers to a fictional set of colors Andrésson designated as being uniquely Icelandic, though there is an element of the absurd intended by this exercise in classification.

Throughout his relatively short career, Andrésson used conceptual strategies to explore aspects of cultural and national identity. The "Icelandic Colors" series, of which this work is one example, began in the late 1980s and continued until the end of the artist’s life in 2007. Raised in a home for the blind as the sighted child of blind parents, he was accustomed to describing things and ideas in the absence of visual imagery; thus, he grew to be particularly attuned to the relationship between language and perception. The lyrical word play inherent in Eins langt of augað eygir questions notions of perception, and in particular the way in which words suggest visual images, at the same time it also functions as visual poetry.

Eins langt og augað eygir (As far as the eye can see), Birgir Andrésson (Icelandic, 1955–2007), Paint

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.