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Ragnar Kjartansson
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Ragnar Kjartansson
Woman in E, 2016
Originally performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit
January 15 – April 10, 2016
Duration: 6 to 9 hours, daily
Photo: Andrew Miller

Ragnar Kjartansson engages multiple artistic mediums, creating video installations, performances, drawings, and paintings that draw upon myriad historical and cultural references.  An underlying pathos and irony connect his works, with each deeply influenced by the comedy and tragedy of classical theater. The artist blurs the distinctions between mediums, approaching his painting practice as performance, likening his films to paintings, and his performances to sculpture. Throughout, Kjartansson conveys an interest in beauty and its banality, and he uses durational, repetitive performance as a form of exploration.

Kjartansson (b. 1976) lives and works in Reykjavík. Major solo shows include exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Reykjavík Art Museum; the Barbican Centre, London; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Park, Washington D.C.; the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; among others. Kjartansson participated in The Encyclopedic Palace at the Venice Biennale in 2013, Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2014, and he represented Iceland at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The artist received the 2019 Ars Fennica Award, and was the recipient of the 2015 Artes Mundi’s Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award, and Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award.

Artworks Nested Slideshow

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Ragnar Kjartansson
Bliss, 2020
Single-channel video
Duration: 11 hours, 59 minutes, 25 seconds
Recorded at REDCAT as part of LA Phil's Fluxus Festival curated by Christopher Rountree 25 May 2019, originally a commission for Performa 11

Ragnar Kjartansson
Me and My Mother 2020, 2020
Single-channel video
Duration: 10 minutes, 38 seconds

Ragnar Kjartansson
Death Is Elsewhere, 2019
Seven-channel video installation with sound
Duration: 1 hour, 17 minutes

Ragnar Kjartansson
Eldhraun, 2019
Oil on canvas
31 1/2 x 41 3/8 inches
(80 x 105 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
Figures in Landscape (Sunday), 2018
Single-channel video
Duration: 24 hours

Ragnar Kjartansson
Untitled, 2017
Oil on canvas
63 x 70 3/4 inches
(160 x 180 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
Dope & Corruption, 2017
Polished stainless steel, electrical components, LED light
Edition of 3
91 1/4 x 19 5/8 x 3 7/8 inches
(232 x 50 x 10 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
Architecture and Morality, 2016
Oil on canvas
47 3/16 x 59 inches
(120 x 150 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
Woman in E, 2016
Originally performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit
January 15 – April 10, 2016
Duration: 6 to 9 hours, daily
Photo: Andrew Miller

Ragnar Kjartansson
Omnipresent Salty Death, 2015
Watercolor on paper
22 7/8 x 29 7/8 inches
(58 x 76 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
Die Nacht der Hochzeit, 2015
Watercolor on paper
36 2/3 x 50 inches
(93 x 127 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
World Light – The Life and Death of an Artist, 2015
Four-channel video
Duration: 20 hours, 45 minutes, 22 seconds
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna

Ragnar Kjartansson
Scenes From Western CultureBurning House, 2015
Single channel video
Duration: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Ragnar Kjartansson
Bjarni Bömmer Listens to Take It Easy by the Eagles, 2014
Oil on canvas
70 4/5 x 63 inches
(180 x 160 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson and The National
A Lot of Sorrow, 2013-2014
Single-channel video
Duration: 6 hours, 9 minutes, 35 seconds
Originally performed at MoMA PS1, as part of Sunday Sessions
Photo: Elísabet Davidsdottir

Ragnar Kjartansson
S.S. Hangover, 2013
Performance for a boat and brass sextet
Music by Kjartan Sveinsson
Originally performed in the Arsenale, Venice, during the 55th Venice Biennale, Italy
June 1 – November 24, 2013
Duration: 6 hours, daily
Photo: Lilja Birgisdóttir

Ragnar Kjartansson
The Visitors, 2012
Nine-channel HD video projection
Duration: 1 hour, 4 minutes
Photo: Elísabet Davidsdottir

Ragnar Kjartansson
To Music / An die Musik, 2012
Performed at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
June 10 – 17, 2012
Duartion: 4 to 8 hours, daily
Photo: Marie Lusa

Ragnar Kjartansson
Song, 2011
Single-channel video
Originally performed at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
March 10 – 27, 2011
Duration: 6 hours, daily

Ragnar Kjartansson
Night – Ice Cream Grill, 2011
Oil on canvas
17 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches
(45 x 35 cm)

Ragnar Kjartansson
Take me here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for Marriage, 2011
Performance installation featuring ten troubadours and an excerpt from the film Morðsaga
Music by Kjartan Sveinsson
Originally performed at BAWAG P.S.K. Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 6 hours, daily
Installation view, Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland, 2017
Photo: Vigfús Birgisson

Ragnar Kjartansson
The Man, 2010
Single-channel video with sound
Duration: 49 minutes

Ragnar Kjartansson
The End – Venezia, 2009
144 paintings, oil on canvas
Dimensions variable
Performed at the Icelandic Pavilion during the 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy
June 14 – November 22, 2009
Duration: 6 hours, daily

Ragnar Kjartansson
The End – Rocky Mountains, 2009
Five-channel video
Duration: 30 minutes
Commissioned for the Icelandic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy

Ragnar Kjartansson
The Schumann Machine, 2008
Video, six photographs, vinyl disc and hard disc
Duration: 52 minutes, 15 seconds

Ragnar Kjartansson
God, 2007 
Single-channel video, with pink curtains
Duration: 30 minutes 
Music by Dav Þór Jónsson and Ragnar Kjartansson
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna and The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík
Photo: Rafael Pinho

Ragnar Kjartansson
Scandinavian Pain, 2006
Neon sculpture
22 3/4 x 480 inches
(57.8 x 1219.2 cm)
Performed and commissioned for Momentum, Nordic Biennial for Contemporary Art, Moss, Norway
Music by Ólafur Björn Ólafsson
September 2 – 10, 2006
Duration: 6 hours, daily

Ragnar Kjartansson
The Great Unrest, 2005
Performed at Dagsbrún House as part of the Reykjavík Arts Festival, Reykjavík
May 16 – June 20, 2005
Duration: 6 hours, daily

Ragnar Kjartansson
Satan is Real, 2004
Single-channel video
Duration: 1 hour, 3 minutes, 40 seconds

Ragnar Kjartansson
Death and the Children, 2002
Single-channel video
Duration: 4 minutes, 54 seconds

Contact

For more information, please contact Julia Speed at julia@luhringaugustine.com.