Ragnar Kjartansson

Ragnar Kjartansson Artist

Ragnar Kjartansson draws a large arc of cultural references in his performative practice. The history of film, music, theater, visual culture, and literature find their way into his video installations, durational performances, drawings, and paintings. Pretending and staging are key tools in the artist’s attempt to convey sincere emotion and offer a genuine experience to the audience. Kjartansson’s work has been exhibited widely, and it was recently the subject of a major solo show at V-A-C’s GES-2 House of Culture in Moscow (December 2021 – February 2022). Other recent solo exhibitions and performances have been held at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Barbican Art Gallery in London, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, Reykjavík Art Museum, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and New Museum in New York. The artist received the 2019 Ars Fennica Award, and was the recipient of the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize in 2015, and Performa’s Malcolm McLaren Award in 2011. In 2009, Kjartansson represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale, and in 2013 his work was featured at the Biennale’s main exhibition, The Encyclopedic Palace. Kjartansson was born in 1976 in Reykjavík and studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and The Royal Academy, Stockholm. He lives and works in Reykjavík.

Image credits: Elisabet Davids