Gudmundur Gudmundsson, who later adopted the pseudonym Erró, is one of the most
significant contemporary Icelandic artists. After studying in Norway and Italy, he settled
in Paris in 1958, where with encouragement from his friend and neighbor Jean-Jacques
Lebel, he associated with Surrealist artists such as Matta, Masson and Man Ray. Later his
work became part of the Figuration Narrative movement, and Erró ranked among the
radical artists of the 1960’s whose views on art and politics were those of a new generation
– people who embraced representational art and were critical of society.
Erró accumulates cuttings from various paper-based sources- newspapers, magazines,
advertisements, packaging, postcards and comics from his trips around the world. It was
his 1963 visit to New York however, which left an enduring mark on the artist and cemented
him with American imagery and Pop art. The reassembled images create narrative
compositions, where then they would often be enlarged onto canvas.
Works by Léger, Picasso and Van Gogh are utilized as pop imagery in the same breath as
Disney cartoons and Marilyn Monroe, an exaggerated world where Superheroes battle
the social issues of politics, war, science, art and sexuality. The collages often bring, with
much irony, awareness on the absurdity of over consumerism, Americanisation and
commercialised eroticism. Superficially humorous and glossy, on closer inspection can also
be deeply unsettling.
Erró has been exhibited internationally in both commercial galleries and museums, with
many retrospectives. In 2010, the Centre Pompidou displayed 66 collages by the artist;
later this year the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon will dedicate a retrospective of his works.
The Mayor Gallery is exhibiting a selection of collages by Erró spanning the last 60 years.