Erró

Ólafsvík, Iceland, 1932

Erró is the pseudonym Gudmundur Gudmundsson has used since 1967 instead of Ferró (a name he took from the village of Castell de Ferro, a town he came to know during his first visit to Spain in 1953). A resident of both Paris and Formentera since 1958, he studied painting at the Reykjavik Arts School. After his trip to Norway in 1952, where he completed his studies and was initiated in the techniques of engraving and fresco, his curiosity led him to travel to other parts of Europe, specifically Germany, Spain, Italy and France. In our country he became familiar with the work of El Bosco in the Museo del Prado and during his time in Florence he studied the work of Leonardo da Vinci and Paolo Ucello. His arrival in Paris in 1958 provided him with his first contact with surrealism and relevant artists like Joan Miró, André Masson, Man Ray and others, and was also where he was reunited with Roberto Matta whom he had already met in 1956 during the Venice Biennale.

Erró glimpsed the expressive possibilities of two techniques used by the surrealists, the collage and the photomontage, which he has maintained throughout his career.In December of 1963 he discovered New York, the city where he met artists linked to American pop art such as Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein, and he experienced first-hand the exaltation of everyday reality through the reproduction of banal objects promulgated by the American tendency. Here, Erró took part in happenings aimed at criticising the system and gathered all kinds of graphical documentation which we would later see reflected in his “Scapes” series: accumulations of food (Foodscape, 1962-1964), of cars (Carscape, 1969), of animals (Fishscape, 1974), or of planes (Planescapes, 1970).

Seen as one of the relevant “narrative figuration” artists, Erró reflects on the image and its relationship to reality. The mixture of images by way of a saturation – the result of a previous intellectual process – stemming from the history of art, the mass media, advertising or the world of comics, is a fundamental element in his painting, designed to deal with and criticise topics like political propaganda or powerful women who are at the same a sex icon, often with an ironic and humorous approach.

His work has been displayed in numerous art centres: Bezalel National Museum in Jerusalem (1958), Museu d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (1985), Bergen Art Museum (1992), Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (1999), Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma (2005), Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (2006). He was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1989, and his work is found in public and private collections such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (València), Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Fondation Maeght (Saint-Paul-de-Vence), The Museum of Modern Art (New York) and Reykjavík Art Museum (Reykjavik).