Ragnar Kjartansson
Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) finds beauty in the banality of rituals. Raised by an actress and a playwright but trained as a painter, he combines an intuitive sense of performance with an impulse toward stillness. His performances feel like living paintings, and his paintings are infused with performance: He’ll play “Sorrow” with The National for eight hours straight at PS1, and furiously paint a new series by locking himself in a cabin listening only to The Eagle’s “Take It Easy” for a weekend. Fascinated by how repetition stirs people’s emotions, Kjartansson turns art into ceremonies rooted in clever wit, childlike play, and astute cultural criticism. Images courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik