Iver Jåks

Iver Jåks, installation view, Palais Bellevue, Kassel, documenta 14, 2017, photo: Daniel Wimmer

Iver Jåks was born in Karasjok in northern Norway and is one of the most influential artists from the region. His unique impact on the development of Norwegian modernism is manifest in his installations and designs for the RiddoDuottarMuseat in Karasjok. Deliberately moving between the aesthetics and practices of duodji (traditional Sámi handicrafts) and European Modernism, Jåks’s sculptures often emphasize the cycles and processes of nature. Through subtle interventions, found objects take on other material manifestations—the addition of strategically placed rope turns a piece of knotted driftwood into a mosquito; in another, the addition of a slim sliver of pinewood morphs an animal horn into a bird or perhaps a narwhale; in a different sculpture, small pieces of wood spill out in front of a larger log, its tethered sticks implying a utilitarian use. Jåks reportedly created his sculptures in dialogue with the seasons, preferring to produce larger pieces in the summer when the days are longer and it was possible to work outside, and smaller pieces, like these miniatures, over the short days of the sub-arctic winters.

Posted in Public Exhibition

Iver Jåks (1932–2007)

When Iver Jåks first saw the light of day on a mountain near the village of Karasjok in Northern Norway in 1932, the Sámi did not have a word for “art.” Life, art, and craft were the same; the word…