perfect

The latest addition to my website is Ragna Sigurðardóttir‘s Hið fullkomna landslag (The Perfect Landscape), the second Sigurðardóttir on the Iceland page of my website. I have always had a penchant for books about art forgery and this is one of the topics of this book. Hanna, an Icelandic art expert who has been working in the Netherlands, returns to Iceland to head the Annexe, a contemporary art gallery. Kristin, the head of the whole complex, shows a new painting the gallery has acquired as a gift, a landscape by the (fictitious) artist Gudrun Johannsdottir. However, when she and Steinn examine the painting, it seems to be a forgery, as does another recent valuable acquisition. Kristin wants to keep quiet about it, while Steinn and Kristin cannot be 100% sure that the two paintings are forgeries. Meanwhile, there is a spate of vandalism of public art works in Reykjavik and Hanna tries to relate to the street kids responsible. She also organises an exhibition, which brings about a clash between a younger and an older artist. It is an interesting tale and raises interesting questions about ethics in the art world, whether art should be elitist or be for and by the people, as well as showing that artists can be difficult. However, it is essentially a plot-driven novel and not great literature.