Ragnar Kjartansson

Icelandic, b. 1976

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Ragnar Kjartansson

Icelandic, b. 1976

3,683
Followers
Biography

Celebrated for his endurance-based performances and video installations, Ragnar Kjartansson incorporates all of the arts—musical, theatrical, literary, filmic, and plastic—into his opulent, ironic, and deeply human works. Explaining that his works are “always about a feeling, but there’s no story,” he creates durational experiences, often centered upon himself and involving friends and family. Inspired by the power of the work of Hans Haacke, Roni Horn, and the feminist movement, he pushes past the anxiety and ennui of repetitious situations to convey a state of joy and transcendence. Mirrors for the human condition, his tragicomic performances combine sorrow and happiness, horror and beauty, drama and levity. In 2009, as the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale, Kjartansson took up residence in Venice and completed one painting of his friend every day over the exhibition’s six-month run.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Palais de Tokyo, and 3 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Biography

Celebrated for his endurance-based performances and video installations, Ragnar Kjartansson incorporates all of the arts—musical, theatrical, literary, filmic, and plastic—into his opulent, ironic, and deeply human works. Explaining that his works are “always about a feeling, but there’s no story,” he creates durational experiences, often centered upon himself and involving friends and family. Inspired by the power of the work of Hans Haacke, Roni Horn, and the feminist movement, he pushes past the anxiety and ennui of repetitious situations to convey a state of joy and transcendence. Mirrors for the human condition, his tragicomic performances combine sorrow and happiness, horror and beauty, drama and levity. In 2009, as the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale, Kjartansson took up residence in Venice and completed one painting of his friend every day over the exhibition’s six-month run.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Palais de Tokyo, and 3 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Shows Featuring Ragnar Kjartansson
Articles Featuring Ragnar Kjartansson
10 Contemporary Nordic Artists You Should Know
Oct 12th, 2018
10 Contemporary Nordic Artists You Should Know
From Iceland to Brazil, These Artists Travel the World to Paint En Plein Air
Apr 6th, 2018
From Iceland to Brazil, These Artists Travel the World to Paint En Plein Air
18 Artists Share the Books That Inspire Them
Jun 23rd, 2017
18 Artists Share the Books That Inspire Them
The Fish Factory-Turned-Arts Complex That’s Revitalizing Reykjavík’s Arts Scene
Mar 28th, 2017
The Fish Factory-Turned-Arts Complex That’s Revitalizing Reykjavík’s Arts Scene
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