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Karen Pálsdótir | June 2020

Karen Pálsdóttir (1992 Reykjavík, Iceland) lives and works in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Pálsdóttir received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2013. She is a painter and the co-founder of FÍLE, an organization that unites Icelandic artists studying at international schools. Her works have been exhibited in Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Reykjavík, and have been featured in renowned publications including New American Paintings, Create! Magazine, SFMoMA blog, and Hyperallergic.


In her most recent monochromatic oil paintings, Pálsdóttir explores various subjects through a cobalt blue lens. By painting fractions of her female models and botanical compositions in blue, she explores the historical context in which early humans did not make distinctions between the colors green and blue, due to the rarity of blue in nature. Pálsdóttir photographs her subjects and uses a collage-like approach, where she crops the reference imagery of her female posers and overlays them with compositions that she captures in nature. Using the final digital image as a reference, she starts by applying the darkest hues onto the canvas and finishes with the lighter colors. These accumulated layers leave visible traces of her technique, creating a life-like depth in the portraits.

If you have any questions or are interested in the works by this artist, please contact Blanca or Clara at

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