Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson

Resume (Curriculum Vitae)

07.11.60 Akureyri, Iceland
Tel. mobile: +354 822 3699
Tel. office: +354 588 0411

Updated on Sunday, June 13, 2004



  • 1977 — 1981  School of Fine Art, Akureyri, Iceland
  • 1981 — 1982  University of Iceland (Icelandic and Literature)
  • 1983 — 1987  Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, Reykjavik (BA)
  • 1987 — 1989  Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, Holland (Master)

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Nominations and Awards

  • 1992  THE VISA ART AWARD, for visual art.
  • 1993  6-month visual artists stipend, from the Icelandic Ministry of Culture
  • 1993  Nomination for the DV cultural prize, both for visual arts and literature.
  • 1994  6-month writer’s stipend, from the Icelandic Ministry of Culture
  • 1996  3-year visual artists stipend, from the Icelandic Ministry of Culture.
  • 1997  SERRA PRIZEWINNER  Award from the Richard Serra Fund for Artistic achivement
  • 1997  Nomination for the DV cultural prize, for visual art.
  • 1998  BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR 1998 - Prize from Reykjavik City for the book „My name is Betterby but you can call me Bobo
  • 2000  6-month writer’s stipend from the Icelandic Ministry of Culture.
  • 2000  Invited artist in residence, in a IASPIS studio, Gothenburg Sweden
  • 2000  BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR, 2000 - Prize from the Booksellers’ Guild in Iceland for „Are you Betterby…
  • 2000  THE STATE RADIO´S LITTERATURE PRIZE – A highly respected prize, annualy given to an outstanding Icelandic writer.
  • 2001  6 month writer’s stipend from the Icelandic Ministry of Culture.
  • 2002  Nominatet for the NORDIC CHILDREN’S LITERATURE PRIZE for the Betterby books.
  • 2002  Prize from THE EDSTRANSKA FUND in Sweden, for his contribution to international contemporary art.
  • 2002  6 month writer’s stipend from the Icelandic Ministry of Culture.
  • 2002  BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR, 2002 - Award from the Booksellers' Guild in Iceland for „Betterby – the Journey to Targia“

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Teaching, Lectures and Courses Including

  • 1991 — 2000  Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts Reykjavik;
  • Icelandic University of Education; University of Iceland Extramural Programme;
  • California Institute for the Arts, Valencia California USA;
  • Art Center, Pasadena, California USA;
  • AKI Enschede Holland;
  • The Art Academy of Vilnius, Lithuania;
  • Valand College of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2000 — 2001  Guest professor at the Art Academy of Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2002  Guest professor at the Icelandic University of Arts;
  • 2003  Creative Live Coach at FullyAlive Coaching in Los Angeles

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Television – Radio – Film including

  • 1991/1992  THE POCKET THEATRE, (52 weekly radio performances) Channel 2 (script and perfomance)
  • 1992  “And Then the Fool Woke up“ (15 min. play) Icelandic State TV (story, script & direction)
  • 1993  I WOULD LIKE… with Brynja X. Vifilsdottir. 3-minute video (script/direction)
  • 1995/1996  THE POCKET THEATRE, 15 weekly Performances on Icelandic State TV (story, script and direction)
  • 1994/1996  CHILDREN´S HOUR, 52 X 5-6 minute scetches. Icelandic State TV (script)
  • 1997  HEAVILY MORTGAGED (Teleplay, 20 min) Icelandic State TV (Script)
  • 1997  BUILT TO LAST (Teleplay, 20 min) Icelandic State TV (Script)
  • 1997  AS I SAID (Teleplay, 20 min) Icelandic State TV (Script)
  • 1999  JESUS IS CLOSER TO HOME 28 min. documentary/with Olafur Johannesson and Ragnar Santos (Script and direction)
  • 1999  MITTENS FOR GRANDFATHER (10 min) Icelandic State TV (story and script)
  • 2000  DOCUMENT ON DISAPPEARANCE 28 min. (made in collaboration with 5 students of the Valand College of Arts in Gothenburg, for the exhibition AMATEUR at the Gothenburg Art Museum.)
  • 2001  MOST REAL DEATH, 24:31 minute video made at the Art Gallery in Norrköping, Sweden for the exhibition OMSTILLING (concept, direction)
  • 2002  THE MOST REAL DEATH 2001 22 minute video. Made in Milano, in collaboration with HELENA JONSDOTTIR, for the Exhibition MILANO-EUROPA 2000 at PACK/TRIENNALE Art Centers in Milano, Italy
  • 2001  SHAME ON YOU ROVANIEMI A video loop, made in Iceland, for the exhibition OMSTILLING in Rovaniemi, Finland. (concept, direction)
  • 2002  THE RUNAR PALSON STORY A short film, commisioned by the Icelandic State TV
  • 2002  HIGHER POWER (or Default) Filmscript made in collaboration with director Olafur Johannesson. Adoption from Thorsteinsson’s book GENTELMAN´S TALE from 2001. Filmed in spring 2003.

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Scripts in Progress

  • ACT NORMAL Filmscript. Black comedy set in Los Angeles.
  • BETTERBY Filmscript adoption from the first Betterby book.
  • BRING THIS TO SOPHIE Filmscript. Based on an original story.

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Selected Stage Plays

  • 1992  IN HONOUR OF THE OCCASION (One-act play, 30 min.) performed by the Pinter Theatre in Reykjavik. (Story and script)
  • 1993  THE MESSAGE POUCH (Fairy-Tale Musical, 120 min.) performed on the main stage of the National Theatre in Reykjavik, '93-'94. (Story, script, lyrics)
  • 1994  TALESPIN (Drama, 110 min.) performed at the Theatre of the Icelandic School of Drama, Reykjavik. (Story, script)
  • 1995  I WAS ASKED TO BE HERE (Monologue, 50 min.) Created by Sigrun Sol Olafsdottir and Gudjon Pedersen from texts by Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson. Shown in the Café Theatre and on tour in Iceland and abroad. Actor, Sigrun Sol; Director, Gudjon Pedersen.
  • 1996  FAIRY-TALE ABOUT LOVE (Monologue, 20 min.) performed at the Theatre of the Icelandic School of Drama, Reykjavik (Story, script)
  • 1997  LIVE (Drama, 120 min.) performed at the Flugfélagið Loftur Theatre, Reykjavik, Iceland. (Story, script)
  • 1998  ME AND MY BOY (Drama) Performed at the Hermodur and Hadvor Theatre, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. (Story, script)
  • 1999  IN THE AUDIENCE (A play made from a selection of Pocket Plays and the one act play In the Honour of the Occasion) Flensborg School, Hafnarfjordur. Arrangement and direction: Stefan Jonsson
  • 1999  FAIRY TALE ABOUT LOVE (Full length version of the play from '96) Performed at the Café Theatre, Reykjavik (Story, script, songtexts)
  • 1999  ELLY, ALWAYS GOOD (Monologue, 20 minutes) performed at the Theatre of the Icelandic School of Drama, Reykjavik (Story, script)
  • 2002  AND BJÖRK, OF COURSE… (120 minutes contemporary drama.) Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson. Commissioned from the Reykjavik City Theatre and developed in a workshop with actors from the theatre and Benedikt Erlingsson. (story, script)
  • 2002  THE FARTING HILL (45 minutes children play). Moguleikhusid, Childrens Theatre, Reykjavik, Iceland (Story, script)
  • 2002  THERE WAS A CHILD IN THE VALLEY… (45 minutes play for teenagers.) The STOPP THEATRE GROUP, Reykjavik, Iceland (Story, script)
  • 2003  GUILT Y (60 minutes play) Winner of Reykjavik City Theatre’s competition for new one hour plays. Performed in spring 2003

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  • 1985  TWENTY-TWO OLD FRIENDS (Own publication, Reykjavik) Drawings
  • 1986  THE MESSAGE POUCH (Children’s book, text & illustrations. MM, Reykjavik)
  • 1987  HUNDRED EVENTS (Texts & reproductions of own paintings, own publication, Reykjavik)
  • 1988  JOKES (Voss Forlag, Amsterdam)
  • 1988  FAIRY TALES (Voss Forlag, Amsterdam)
  • 1988  MEMOIRS (Voss Forlag, Amsterdam)
  • 1988  GAMES (Voss Forlag, Amsterdam)
  • 1989  OPENINGS (Changed photographs, Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht)
  • 1991  STATES (Cut photographs. Galerie NEMO, Eckernförde)
  • 1992  AN ANGEL IN THE AUDIENCE (Texts, Bjartur, Reykjavik)
  • 1996  6 WORKS (Texts and photographs, Reykjavik)
  • 1998  ART WORKS (Texts and photographs, Reykjavik) Artworks 1991 — 1997
  • 1998  MY NAME IS BETTERBY BUT YOU CAN CALL ME BOBO (Novel. Bjartur, Reykjavik)
  • 2000  ARE YOU BETTERBY? I HAVE AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE (Novel. Bjartur, Reykjavik)
  • 2001  GENTLEMAN’S TALE (novel, Bjartur, Reykjavik)
  • 2001  KNITTENS FOR GRANDFATHER (Childrens book, illustrated by Snorri Freyr Hilmarsson)
  • 2002  BETTERBY – The Journey to Targia (Novel. Bjartur, Reykjavik)

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Books in Progress

  • 2003  BETTERBY #4 (Novel, Bjartur, Reykjavik)

Selected Solo Exhibitions and Projects since 1990

  • 1990  Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium (with Guillaume Bijl)
  • 1991  Galerie NEMO, Eckernförde, Germany
  • 1991  Lumen Travo Galerie, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1992  Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1992  Cultural Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1993  Slunkariki, Isafjördur, Iceland
  • 1993  Mokka, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1994  Lumen Travo Galerie, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1994  The Pearl, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1995  Galerie Van den Berge, Goes, Holland
  • 1995  Hörri´s second floor, Seydisfjördur, Iceland
  • 1996  ETERNAL LIFE, Akureyri Municipal Art Museum, Iceland
  • 1997  Gallery i8, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1999  United Airlines flight between LA and NY, USA, Galleri Hallson.
  • 1998  Gallery 20m2, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1998  Fish Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1999  Galerie van den Berge, Goes Holland
  • 1999  Cultural Center, Reykjavik Iceland (RETROSPECTIVE show at the invitation of the City of Reykjavik in which works of the last 10 years were introduced, and a seminar held for discussion of the artists career.)
  • 1999  Gallery Saevar Karl, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • 2000  Galerie Nemo, Eckernförde, Germany.
  • 2000  Kvarnen, Konstföreningen, Söderhamn, Sweden.
  • 2000  The Corridor, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • 2003  ROOM DESIGN – Commisioned work for Art Hotel Winston, Amsterdam. Holland
  • 2004  Gothenburg Konsthalle, Sweden. A retrospective of Thorsteinsson’s work, commisioned by the Gothenburg Konshalle. Will travel around Europe 2004 — 2005

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Selected Group Exhibitions and Projects since 1990

  • 1990  ZELFPORTRETTEN, Rumpff Gallery, Haarlem, Holland
  • 1990  GARDEN SHOW, Reykjavik Art Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1990  FOR REAL NOW, Hoorn, Holland
  • 1991  LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT, Momentary Modern, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1991  Foire d´Art Actuel Brussel, Belgium
  • 1991  BUILT ON WATER, Goes, Holland
  • 1991  Galerie Van den Berge, Goes, Holland
  • 1991  KLIMAAT, Lumen Travo Galerie, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1991/1992  AURORA, Nordic Art Centre Helsinki, Finland/Kulturhuset Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1992  CONTEMPORARY ICELANDIC SCULPTURE, Reykjavik Art Festival, Kringlan (Shopping Mall) Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1992  NORDSKEN, Konsthallen, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 1992  THREE ICELANDIC ARTISTS, Galleriet, Vaxjö, Sweden
  • 1993  EQUILIBRIUM, Riga, Latvia
  • 1993  16 DAYS, Video & performance, Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1993  “7x7“ (Group show in seven countries)
  • 1994  “THE MALE IMAGE”, Cultural Center, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1994  SOMMERBEELDEN, Goes, Holland
  • 1994  SCULPTURE, SCULPTURE, SCULPTURE, Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland
  • 1995  YOUNG BRITISH ARCHITECTS, London, England. (HOUSE OF 19/with Studio Granda, Architects, Reykjavik Iceland)
  • 1995  PORT OF ART, Kotka, Finland
  • 1995  FOREST FLORA, Hallormsstadur, Iceland
  • 1995  STREETS, Helsinki Art Hall, Finland
  • 1996  Gallery Greip, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1996  National Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1996  CONTAINER 96, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1997  NORDICA, Helsinki, Finland
  • 1998  NUIT BLANCHE, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
  • 1998  BITCHES AND BEAUTIES, Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1998  JUNGE KUNST INTERNATIONAL Overbeck Gesellsachft Lübeck, Germany.
  • 1998  MARIA MAGDALENA, VROUW+MAN=RAADSEL, Maria Magdalena Church, Goes, Holland
  • 1999  MIDNIGHT WALKERS - CITY SLEEPERS, Amsterdam, Holland.
  • 1999  WELCOME TO THE ART WORLD, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • 1999  OMSTILLING, Cophenhagen, Denmark
  • 1999  Kulturbahnhof Eller, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2000  ORGASM, Akureyri Municipal Art Museum, Akureyri, Iceland
  • 2000  SHOOT - moving images by artists, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden
  • 2000  OMSTILLING (second version) Norrköping Konstmuseum, Sweden
  • 2000  “THE FUTURE IS NOW” Nordic Video Archive, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2000  AMATEUR/ELDSJÄL Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2000  @, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Cultural City of Europe
  • 2000  Töölönlahti Bay Art Garden, Helsinki, Cultural City of Europe.
  • 2001  OMSTILLING (third version) Finland
  • 2001  SHOOT - moving images by artists, Batanien Berlin, Germany
  • 2001  OMSTILLING (fourth version) Rovaniemi, Finland
  • 2001  366/2000 Art Projcet. MUKA Gallery, Auckland, New Seeland
  • 2001  MILANO-EUROPA 2000 PACK/TRIENNALE Contemporary Art Centers in Milano, ITALY
  • 2001  INTERFERENCE, Palazzo delle Papesse, SIENA, ITALY
  • 2001  BLICK Nordic Video Show travelling to more than 20 countries all around the world.
  • 2001  MYND, Icelandic Contemporary Art, in Henie Onstad Art Center, Oslo, Norway
  • 2002  ICELAND/IMAGES  GERDUR HELGADOTTIR MUSEUM, Iceland (with Ivar Brynjolfsson, Hrafnkell Sigurdsson, Haraldur Jonsson, Daniel Magnusson and Spessi)
  • 2002  LOST AND FOUND Installation made for the Reykjavik Art Festival at the +exhibition MYND at Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland
  • 2002  LOST AND FOUND Installation made for Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland
  • 2002  The Winners of the Edstrandska Fund Prize, 2002. In Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden
  • 2003  100 ARTISTS SEE GOD Exhibition in Los Angeles, curated by Meg Cranston and John Baldessari

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Performances and Happenings

  • 1988  “Can language problem be a creative force?“ (Lecture given in Icelandic for people who didn't understand a word of the language) Maastricht, Holland
  • 1990  “YOUR PORTRAIT (all in) now 200 franks only“ Aalst, Belgium
  • 1996  NEXT BAZAAR IS ON SATURDAY AT 3 O´CLOCK. Part of the exhibition Eternal Life at the Akureyri Municipal Art Museum, Akureyri, Iceland
  • 1998  CELEBRITY STREET MAP, opening performance at Fish Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland (with Joni Jonsdottir)
  • 1999  THE SALESMAN, GUSTAV GUSTAVSSON, at a Performance evening at the Café Theatre, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 2001  THE CHAIR Sound installation/performance at the 2001 Performance festival, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland

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Sound Installations

  • 1989  IK BEEN LISA, Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, Holland
  • 1995  THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO ART - at the exhibition Port of Art, Kotka, Finland
  • 1998  CONCERT, Gallery 20 m2 Reykjavik
  • 1999  LIEDERABEND  Galerie NEMO, Eckernförde, Germany;
  • 2000  HOME SWEET HOME, at the ORGASM exhibition, Municipal Art Museum Akureyri
  • 2001  KONSERT Henie Onstad Kunstsenter Oslo, Norway,
  • 2002  OPERA NIGHT Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, Italy
  • 2002  CONCERT Malmö Konsthall in Sweeden.

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Public Collections

  • Reykjavik Art Museum, National Gallery of Iceland, Akureyri Municipal Art Museum, The Living Art Museum Reykjavik, PTT Holland, City of Hoorn, Holland, Ignatius Ziekenhuis Breda Holland.
  • Book-works in the collection of Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum in London and in private collections in Holland, Belgium, Germany, U.S.A. and Russia.

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  • From 1981 — 1999  Copy writer and later creative director at GSP Advertising and PR Agency in Iceland.
  • From 1991  Owner and director of the Pocket Theatre.
  • From 1994  Head curator at MIT (Museum of Imaginary Totality)
  • 2000  CURATOR for John Baldessari show WHILE SOMETHING IS HAPPENING HERE, SOMETHING ELSE IS HAPPENING THERE, at the Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 2003  CREATIVE COACH and lecturer in Southern California

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