Tuesday 21 August 2012

Sámal Joensen-Mikines ,
a faroese painter

Sámal Joensen-Mikines (1906-1979) was a Faroese painter, born at Mykines, one of the Faröe Islands, in the North Atlantic sea. He was recognised as one of the most important artists there, and many of his paintings have been displayed on Faroese stamps.

I have just recently discovered his work, during some research on the net.

Tualsgården, 1957

The most early works of Mikines are from the middle of the 1920s. He then painted in a dark expressionist style.

Faroese dance, 1944

Mikines' symbolic, expressive, sombre and dramatic paintings often portray scenes where death plays a major role. The darkest paintings are dated soon after 1934, which became a fateful year for Mykines. The village was struck by grief when a large part of its male population was drowned because of the wreck of two ships in a collison.

At the Death Bed, 1940

Two of my favorite paintings belong to the final years of this phase:

"This painting shows a woman standing beside the sea coast, looking out for her husband just departed to the sea. Although this set is dedicated to "Famous Women", the women are anonymous, but Mikines intended it to represent the Faroese Woman."

The ships depart, 1947

This rising of the sun strucks me for its bauty - a dismal, gloomy expressionism giving way to hope for the new day:

The Morning Sun, 1947

But later paintings of, for example, his native village were noticeably light and idyllic, more naturalist, fresh colored and precise:

Vew from Mykines islet, 1959

On his native village he draw and painted, and also made rough sketches which later became paintings during the winter spent in Denmark.

Mykines, 1959

Mykines is the westernmost of the Faröe Islands, and also its only and beautiful little coastal village - rows of bright and coloured houses with turf roofs, an old turf-roofed stone Church dating from 1878, and a small stream flowing through.

The village of Mykines, violet evening, 1955

Mykines houses, 1950

But then later paintings show the return to some drama and more dimmed colours:

North wind, 1957

Breaking the Waves, 1952
(clic to enlarge)

The Mailboat, 1955

Apart from Listaskálin in Tórshavn, where a great permanent exhibition is displayed
by the Faröe Islands Art Gallery, paintings of Sámal Joensen-Mikines can also be seen in the Faroese Parliament as well as in many banks all over the Faröes. Paintings of Mikines can also be seen abroad, in Copenhagen's "Statens Museum for Kunst" .

My next post, in continuation, will be a short report on Mykines village and island. I published here before about some other locations on this fabulous Faröe archipelago, one of the most remote places in Europe.


Mister Twister said...

Freaking sweet!

Rowan said...

Really loved it too. Great job Mario!

Unknown said...

Another very clever fareoese painter Sigrun Gunnarsdottir http://www.sigrungunnarsdottir.com/

Quinn said...

Fabulous works and well presented here. Thanks for sharing them!

Mário R. Gonçalves said...

Thank you Mister Twister, Rowan, Carl, Quinn.

I'm so glad you appreciated my publication of Mikines's works.

Soon I'll be posting about the work of another arctic painter, Tyko Vylka from Novaya Zemlya.