It is with great sadness that we share the news that New English Art Club member Karólína Lárusdóttir NEAC RE RWS died on 7 Feb 2019 at the age of 74.
"Born in Reykjavik in 1944, Karólína overcame considerable reluctance from her parents to support her decision to become an artist. It was during a trip to the UK aged fifteen that her host family heard that she was interested in visual art, so they treated her to a tour of the Royal Academy Schools. Thus, began a long association with the British art scene and a resolve that this was what she was meant to do with her life. Her maternal Grandmother and namesake was to be her greatest supporter, paying for bed, board and materials while she was studying in the UK.
She soon returned to the UK to begin a course at the John Cass School of Art. Keen to escape a tumultuous family life back in Iceland, Karólína went on to study at the Ruskin School of Art.
She graduated from the Ruskin in 1967, and held her first solo exhibition at Casa Nova, the gallery of Reykjavik Junior College. She was then encouraged to apply for a graduate degree in the USA, and recognising the immense opportunities available, Karólína was confident of being offered a place and looked forward to studying there. However, she soon discovered she and her husband Clive were expecting a baby and 'with that, I kissed America goodbye', she says.
Following the birth of her two children, it would be eight years before Karólína began painting again.
In 1977, Karólína enrolled on a lithography course under the instruction of Jane Stobart, who remained a great friend. She also began etching with Harry Eccleston, an acclaimed artist and printmaker who encouraged her to look to the subject she knew best to inform her art: Iceland."
An exhibition of Karólína's work at Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Oxford will proceed as planned in March with the artist's family's blessing.
Our deepest condolences go out to Karólína's family and friends.
[Biography and header image courtesy of Sarah Wiseman Gallery]