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Ragnar Kjartansson

An Icelandic artist mixes the Delta Blues, performance and video in a show at Luhring Augustine

by Maggie York-Worth
on 17 June 2010

Daring newcomer Ragnar Kjartansson made his first major splash in the art industry when he became the youngest Icelandic artist at the Venice Biennale. There Kjartonsson made "The End (Venice)," a six month performance piece, both homage and satire of Venice's rich artistic and cultural history.

For the exhibition Kjartansson recreated a medieval-era artist studio, complete with semi-nude model, with the artist in the role of classic painter. Smoking, comprehending Truth, Love and Art, Kjartansson (above left) deftly challenged and celebrated his artistic ancestry. The new exhibition at Luhring Augustine exhibits the resulting paintings from the biennale—144 in all—as well as a new video piece.

Titled "The Man," Kjartansson filmed renowned blues pianist, and eldest living member of the Delta Blues musical movement, Pinetop Perkins. The short functions as a dialogue between Perkins and Kjartansson, in which the musician plays with the artist's theories on art and piano.

The exhibition opens 25 June 2010, and runs through 13 August 2010 at Luhring Augustine Gallery.

See more images in the gallery below.

Image courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Galleri, Reykjavik. Ragnar Kjartansson: "The End (Venice)," 2009 (performance photo).

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