Ragnar Kjartansson, ‘Rich German Children (Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir)’, Copenhagen Contemporary

About Ragnar Kjartansson

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.

Icelandic, b. 1976, Reykjavik, Iceland, based in Reykjavik, Iceland