Luhring Augustine is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of work by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. Though he is primarily known for performance, Kjartansson also pursues more traditional media such as painting, drawing, and video. His work taps into nostalgic imagery from bygone eras of theater, television, music, and art, allowing him to blur the border between reality and fiction.
In 2009, Kjartansson became the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale and it was there that he created The End (Venice). Merging his continued interest in durational performance with the classical practice of portraiture, he set out to create a painting on each day of the Biennale. The exhibition at Luhring Augustine will display all 144 paintings created during the Biennale, and the installation will follow an approximate chronological order corresponding to the six months of artistic production. Vitrines in the exhibition space will include archival notes and correspondence related to the project.
The second gallery will debut a new video work by Kjartansson that was filmed outside Austin, Texas in 2010. Titled The Man, this piece features legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins, the oldest living original Delta Bluesman. Kjartansson’s exploration of repetition and endurance, apparent in his own performances, is here transferred to this revered musician who has been staging and performing this music for over seven decades.