“The piece you are looking at above is titled “Receptual Cairn V”, a powerful representation of two significant ideas. First, the idea of “receptualism”, a neologism which encompasses Eyfells’ conceptual approach to art, teaches us that existence is very fragile, organic and inorganic. Although this piece seems so massive and indestructible, it is quite fragile and temporary. This “power of passage” eliminates time, and we are left with an unencumbered reality which is calming. Secondly, the cairn, a way finding symbol, expresses the primal nature of necessity and chance, for Jóhann Eyfells did not create this piece with hammer and chisel, rather he let it form itself from molten materials poured into molds then fired at the foundry.” Sherryl Brown
“I am 88, and yes I am an old man, yet I am now on a wave of growing productivity and ideas. I want the world to know that I am always evolving as an artist and at this moment in time, I am finding a growing momentum in my work. You haven’t seen anything yet. I am a force in motion…”Jóhann Eyfells
“I love the quote of Jóhann and I can attest IT IS TRUE!! Eyfells is an amazing sculptor ~ he is the quintessential sculptor ~ he works and creates and drives himself harder and faster and with such great optimism and such great accomplishments ~ and always outpaces the advances of age and any discomforts.
Who am I to say this? I have known, respected and admired this man for about 30 years. I met him in Florida where he taught sculpture and theory for many years at the university level. It was my honor to write about his work, and yet words fail to do justice to it.
He has shown at the Corcoran and the Venice Biennale. He moved to Texas about 15 miles from our Sculpture Ranch so I continually witness his efforts and achievements. He is an American treasure! He was born in Iceland and trained as an architect, was a professional boxer (and retains his pugnaciousness to this day!), is a Goethe scholar and will tangle and stretch with you any topic you choose, especially on the artistic and philosophical front!
His life, in the hands of Yates will be the kind of world-class video we need more of. The artistic efforts are immense, sculptors are so often under-appreciated because their work is not seen or understood or whatever….let’s hope this project is consummated soon so we can all pay homage to a true master.” Lorraine Benini
Johann Eyfells is a sculptor, architect, and art professor. He was born in 1923 in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 1949, he married Kristin Halldorsdottir, a former Icelandic model and dress designer, who made her own career as an artist alongside of his. He has studied at several universities, earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1953 and a master’s degree in fine art in 1964.
Eyfells began producing abstract sculptures in the 60’s based on experiments in chemistry and physics, utilizing the various transformational properties of metals, especially aluminum, iron and copper. Minimal in nature, his art is non-objective and often conceptual in approach. His use of materials varies between metal, wood, paper, cloth, and latex rubber.
Eyfells’ creative drive is to document the interaction between time, space and gravity. His work is based on the concepts of receptualism, a theory he developed to explain the essence of his art.
Eyfells is credited with inventing the word ‘Receptualism’ when discussing his work. Eyfells’ work deals with the process of materials. Minimal in nature, his art is non-objective and often conceptual in approach. His materials vary between metal, wood, paper, plastic and cloth. Eyfells’ objective is to document the interaction between time, space and gravity. Many of his sculptures appear to be lava or geological formations. In Central Florida he is known as the Grandfather of sculpture.
“Johann Eyfells takes sculpture back to its prehistoric nature, obviating the civilized idea of it as the engineering of space.”
— Donald Kuspit, Art Critic
The Art Department of Florida Technological University (FTU, now the University of Central Florida) was the only United States University Art Department chosen to officially participate in the 1972 Olympic Games. Held in Munich, Germany, from August 26 to September 10, 1972, the FTU art faculty led by Walter Gaudnek were commissioned to create giant symbolic sails and sculptural elements on primitive boats, conceived and built by Jóhann Eyfells, as part of a two week art marathon ritual. The works were built and painted in full view of the public and sailed across the Olympic Lake in the Olympic Park.
The large, floating totems fulfill part of a commission received by Dr. Gaudnek from the Olympic Spielstrasse Committee. In the background is the Olympic soccer, track, and field stadium. FTU was the only American university represented at the Spielstrasse Activities. The Icelandic sculptor, Johann Eyfells, and Steve Lotz, FTU Art Department Chairman, co-created with Gaudnek for the 10 day period of the Spielstrasse activities during the Games.