In his performances - which often extend over several weeks or months - the Icelandic artist explores not only his own physical and psychological limits and the essence of early performance art, but also the artist's status and the different images of his role.
First solo exhibition in Switzerland of the work of Ragnar Kjartansson (b. Reykjavík, Iceland, 1976; lives and works in Reykjavík)
In his performances—which often extend over several weeks or months—the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson explores not only his own physical and psychological limits and the essence of early performance art, but also the artist’s status and the different images of his role. For his installation “The Schumann Machine” (2008), created for Manifesta 7, he spent several hours every day for two weeks singing the cycle of songs “Dichterliebe” (1840) by Robert Schumann (1810–1856); on another occasion—his contribution to the Icelandic pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale—he painted multiple portraits of a friend, day after day, for several months. Kjartansson plays with motifs from art history such as “Le peintre et son modèle” and the pseudo-sacred status accorded to the artist’s studio as well as its deconstruction, opening his own studio to the public. The characteristic feature of his performances are the melancholy, but also absurdly comical moments when he produces exaggerated renditions of the poses and attitudes that go with these various images of the artist. For his first exhibition at a Swiss institution, Kjartansson will realize a new project that will combine elements from the visual and performing arts.
The exhibition is curated by Heike Munder. Ragnar Kjartansson has presented solo shows at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, the BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (both 2011), and other venues, and represented Iceland at its pavilion during the 2009 Venice Biennale. A monograph about his art will be published by JRP|Ringier in conjunction with the show.
Inauguration of the Löwenbräukunst and exhibition opening: Friday, August 31, 2012, 6pm
Albisriederstrasse 199A CH-8047 Zürich
Opening hours Tue, Wed, Fri 12 – 6 pm, Thu 12 – 8 pm
Sat, Sun 11 am – 5 pm
Admission Adults: SFR 8 Reduced: SFR 4
Free entry for children and students under 16. Thursday 5 - 8 pm free admission