With few exceptions, the compositions seemed overloaded with elements, and all of them were equally sharp-focused, which is visually overstimulating and lessens the impact of the subject matter. I played a game by cropping parts of the pictures to simplify the canvas and pacify my aching eyes, such as with ‘Migrants’ (1980, oil on canvas), ‘Remembrance’ (1981, oil on canvas) and ‘Shipwreck’ (1976, oil on canvas).
Personally, I favor simplicity and breathing space, when detailed elements are being juxtaposed by broad empty areas, such as in ‘On the Sand’ (1981, oil on canvas) and ‘An Old Sailor with a White Boat’ (1971, oil on panel).
I just don’t think that realism is Eiríkur Smith’s best period. I even wondered whether the artist is self-taught, which is not the case, according to my research based on the books Of Spirit and Remembrance and Eiríkur Smith, both by art historian Aðalsteinn