Louisiana poster with the work, The End (2008), published in conjunction with Louisiana's 2023 solo exhibition with Icelandic artist, Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976), Epic waste of Love and Understanding . Kjartansson has long since distinguished himself internationally as one of contemporary art's most important voices, and Louisiana's exhibition contains both new and older works in a multitude of media, from drawing and painting to performance and large, spatial works with film and music.
The motifs here come from Kjartansson's international breakthrough work, The End – Venice, 2009: 144 portraits of a young man in Speedo swimming trunks, which Kjartansson painted during a six-month performance for the Venice Biennale in 2009, where he represented Iceland.
In the wake of the severe collapse of the Icelandic economy in 2008, the work became a counter-image to capitalism's heady, masculine performance culture. Two young men in their prime spent half a year hanging out, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, listening to music, reading, playing the guitar.
Kjartansson tested the romantic matrix of a male painting genius, painting every day a picture of the undressed model, friend and visual artist, Páll Haukur Björnsson (b. 1981).
Kjartansson's emotional and political commitment to the world is reflected in the works. They contain his loving, humorous and critical dialogue with Western culture – our self-understanding, successes, clichés, failures, melancholy, confusion, hope and absurdities. Nuanced reflections on masculinity appear in both work and exhibition in a thematic range from existential pain to aggressive world politics, which also includes the Danish colonialization of the artist's homeland, Iceland.
The works oscillate ambiguously precisely between the existential and political seriousness and the pop lightness. With Kjartansson, you usually have to both cry and laugh. The tension between tragedy and comedy is the artist's signature – for example in the work Me and My Mother from 2015, which many will know from Louisiana's collection.
At Louisiana, the exhibition with Ragnar Kjartansson follows on from major presentations by other main figures in the contemporary art field of multimedia practices, where performance, video, sound and other media are united, e.g. Marina Abramović, Pipilotti Rist, Mika Rottenberg and Arthur Jafa.
Note, large format - Str. A0
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Frame width black: 20 mm
Material: Frame in solid oak and with high-quality acrylic glass.
Please note that a wooden frame is a natural product, so there may be variations in the structure of the wood.