Pages from my Diary 2, 1996

Photo: Angelika Krinzinger / TBA21

Newsprint Collage
33.6 x 33.5 cm

Laxdal's chosen medium is paper. Harvesting his raw material from old newspapers and other printed matter, he has spent decades producing meticulously constructed collages. Light, ephemeral and fleeting, the paper is given a delicate permanence by his slow, considered process. Issues of typography, paper quality, and color all play essential parts in the choices he makes. The artist sets strict parameters for the frames, proportions and scale of each series of works, then systematically varies each individual construction within those tight limits. However, Laxdal doesn't solely make his collages based on aesthetic and formal decisions: content also plays its part. Each piece of paper is chosen for a specific reason after a long engagement with the original text and the ideas it communicated. As a result, each work becomes a kind of abstraction that nonetheless still has a vital, necessary relationship with the original reality operated within. Laxdal therefore creates new layers of meaning and beauty out of material that would otherwise be thrown away. The artist's work is characterized by a quiet, intelligent restraint that leaves nothing to chance.

*1933 in Ísafjörðu, Iceland I † 2005 in Kaiserstuhl, Switzerland