Ragnar Kjartansson

Ragnar Kjartansson (born 1976) lives and works in Reykjavík, Iceland. He studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and at The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Kjartansson has exhibited widely around Europe and the US. Current and upcoming exhibitions include: “Creative Time’s Drifting in Daylight” in Central Park, New York, “The Fall” at Berliner Festspiele, “A Lot of Sorrow” at Johann König, Berlin and a show at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (October 2015).

Solo exhibition include “Me, My Mother, My Father and I” at New Museum, New York (2014), “The Visitors”, Guggenheim Bilbao (2014), “The Palace of the Summerland” at TBA21, Vienna (2014), “The Visitors”, Hangar Bicocca, Milano (2013); “A Lot of Sorrow - a six-hour performance with The National”, MoMA’s PS1, New York (2013); “The Visitors”, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2012); “Song”, Carnegie Museum of Art (2011) – touring to MOCA North Miami and to ICA Boston (2012).

Group exhibitions featuring major works by Kjartansson include the 55th Venice Biennale, The Encyclopedic Palace curated by Massimiliano Gioni; Performa 11, New York (2011) where his 12-hour performance Bliss was awarded the Malcolm McLaren Award; Icelandic Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); the 2nd Turin Triennial, Italy (2008); Manifesta 8 & 10, Italy (2008) St Petersburg (2014) and the Reykjavik Arts Festival in Iceland (2014, 2012, 2008, 2005, 2004).

Kjartansson draws on the entire arc of art in his performative practice. The history of film, music, theatre, visual culture and literature finds its way into his video installations, durational performances, drawing and painting. Pretending and staging become key tools in the artist's attempt to convey sincere emotion and offering a genuine experience to the audience. Kjartansson's playful work is full of unique moments where a conflict of the dramatic and the banal culminates in a memorable way.


As of May 2015

Ragnar Kjartansson

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