Ragnar Kjartansson draws on the entire arc of art in his performative practice. The history of film, music, theatre, visual culture and literature find their way into his video installations, durational performances, drawing and painting. Pretending and staging become key tools in the artist’s attempt to convey sincere emotion and offer a genuine experience to the audience. 


Kjartansson’s work has been exhibited widely. Recent solo exhibitions and performances have been held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Barbican Art Gallery in London, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, Reykjavik Art Museum, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and New Museum in New York. In 2011, he was the recipient of Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award for his performance ‘Bliss’. In 2009, Kjartansson represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale, and in 2013 his work was featured at the Biennale’s main exhibition, The Encyclopedic Palace. Kjartansson was born in 1976 in Reykjavík and studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and The Royal Academy, Stockholm. 


b. 1976 in Reykjavik

Lives and works in Reykjavik





Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavík, Iceland



The Royal Academy, Stockholm, Sweden, exchange student



Hússtjórnarskólinn, Reykjavík, Iceland






Ragnar Kjartansson: Santa Barbara, GES-2 House of Culture, V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, Russia

Ragnar Kjartansson: Sumarnótt, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Ragnar Kjartansson: Sumarnótt, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Boston, MA



Ragnar Kjartansson: Death is Elsewhere, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston, Boston, MA

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Sky in the Room, Church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto, Milan, Italy



Focus On: Ragnar Kjartansson, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson: Scenes from Western Culture, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon, USA

The Visitors, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland

Ragnar Kjartansson. The Man, Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Cordoba, Spain

Scheize – Liebe – Sehnsucht, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Ragnar Kjartansson: A Lot of Sorrow, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Canada

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, MFA The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson: Death Is Elsewhere, The Met Fifth Avenue, New York, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Figures in Landscape, i8 Gallery, Iceland



Romantic Songs of the PatriarchyWomen’s Building, San Francisco, California, USA

Krieg (War), National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Ragnar Kjartansson: A Lot of Sorrow, Faurschou Foundation Beijing, Beijing, China 

S.S. Hangover, The Contemporary, Austin, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Sky in a Room, National Museum Cardiff, Wales

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH



Ragnar Kjartansson: God I feel so bad, Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland

Raw Salon: Ein Rohspiel, Volksbühne, Berlin, Germany

No Tomorrow (with Margrét Bjarnadóttir) performed by the Icelandic Dance Company, London, UK and Reykjavik, Iceland



Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican, London, UK;Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA



The Visitors, The Frist Center, Nashville, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson, Luhring Augustine, New York, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson, Luhring Augustine Bushwick, New York, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson, Copenhagen Contemporary, Kaupmannahöfn, Denmark

The Visitors, Le Printemps de septembre, Toulouse, France

A Lot of Sorrow, Ragnar Kjartansson and the National, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Architecture and Moralitycca, Tel Aviv, Israel

Krieg (War), Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, Berlin, Germany

The Visitors,University of Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, USA

Woman in E, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada



Seul celui qui connaît le désir, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France



The Visitors, The Vinyl Factory, London, UK

A Lot of Sorrow, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

The End, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, USA

The Fall, Berliner Festspiele, Berlin, Germany

A Lot of Sorrow, Ragnar Kjartansson and The National,König Galerie, Berlin, Germany

Song, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Me and My Mother, i8 Gallery, Reykjavík, Iceland

The End, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, Australia

The Visitors, Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Visitors, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The Visitors and The Man, John Curtin Gallery, Perth, Australia



Black Box: Ragnar Kjartansson, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.USA



The End – Rocky Mountains, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba, Canada

The Palace of the Summerland, Ragnar Kjartansson and Friends, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

A Lot of Sorrow, Ragnar Kjartansson and The National, Luhring Augustine Bushwick, New York, USA

Bjarni Bummer Listens to Take it Easy by the Eagles, Skúrinn, Reykjavík, Iceland

Me, My Mother, My Father and I, New Museum, New York, USA

The Visitors, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA

Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, Berlin, Germany

The Visitors, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain



The Visitors, Kling & Bang Gallerí, Reykjavík, Iceland

The Visitors, Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy



Ragnar Kjartansson, Gund Gallery, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, USA

A Lot of Sorrow, Ragnar Kjartansson and The National, MoMA PS1, New York, USA

The Visitors, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

The End, Szene Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

The Visitors, Luhring Augustine, New York, USA

Scandinavian Pain: Ragnar Kjartansson, Edvard Munch, Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden



The End, Scrap Metal Gallery, Toronto, Canada

The Visitors, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland



Song, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida, USA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, USA



Endless Longing, Eternal Return, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany

Bliss, Performa 11, New York, USA

The Man, Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, Texas, USA

Ragnar Kjartansson, i8 Gallery, Reykjavík, Iceland

Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriagebawag p.s.k. Contemporary, Vienna, Austria



The End, Hafnarborg—Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

Me and My Mother, ex3 Contemporary Art Center, Florence, Italy 

Studio: The Night—Eroticism, Folköl, Melancholia, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Ragnar Kjartansson, Luhring Augustine, New York, USA

The End, Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre, Banff, Canada



The End, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy





H2H, Athens, Greece

Call/Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10, Gund Gallery, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
To Moscow! To Moscow! To Moscow!, GES-2 House of Culture, V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, Russia

Eternal Recurrence, Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland

The Pleasure Pavilion: A Series of Installations, Luhring Augustine Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY Plus One, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY



The Blue Peal of Bells, Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Busan, South Korea

AGAINandAGAINandAGAINand, MAMbo - Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Come Closer, Biennale Ve veci umeni / Matter of Art 2020 (VVUMOA), Prague City Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

Photography’s Last Century: The Collection of Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Unique, Parkett Space, Zurich, Switzerland
Up to and Including Limits: After Carolee Schneemann, Muzeum Susch, Susch, Switzerland



Happy !, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA 

MOMENTUM 10 - The Emotional Exhibition, Galleri F 15, Moss, Norway

Nordic Impressions - Contemporary Art from Åland, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden,  ASF + Scandinavia House, New York, USA



Allting föreställer. Ingenting är., Gävle Konstcentrum, Gävle, Sweden

Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland

Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821-2017, Phillips Collection,

Washington, D.C 



Double Lives: Visual Artists Making Music, museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien, Viena, Austria

Nordic Views, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen, Denmark

You Are Here: Light, Color, and Sound Experiences, North Carolina Museum of Art,

Raleigh, USA



Commissions from Performa’s Archives, Whitechapel Gallery, London, England

La mère la mer, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco, USA

Leonard Cohen: Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada



Soundtracks, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

The Voice, Coreana Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea

Opnun, Kling og Bang, Reykjavik, Iceland

Nordic Matters, Southbank Centre, London, U.K



Dicker als Wasser. Konzepte des Familiären in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Kunstpalais & Stadtische Sammlung Erlangen, Erlangen

Reading Prison, Art Angel, Reading, U.K 

Life Serial, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery – Columbia University, New York, USA

I See a Darkness, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy

Illumination, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark

Auf den Schultern von Giganten, Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, Germany

Moving Image Department – 4th Chapter: The Rhetoric Of Time, Revisited, National Gallery Prague, Veletržní Palace, Prague, Czech Republic

Collection on Display: Momentary Monuments, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland

Lines of Flight: Life Serial, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Spring Performance Festival, Kunstverein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Sound in Motion, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany



The Bauhaus #itsalldesign, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany; Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany

Inaugural installation, The Broad, Los Angeles, California, USA

Saga. Iceland: Art and Narrative, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia



Drifting in Daylight: Art in Central Park, Creative Time and Central Park Conservancy, Central Park, New York, USA

Falling Fictions, me Collectors Room, Berlin, Germany

Fireflies in the Night, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens, Greece

Framing Desire: Photography and Video, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

An Imprecise Science, Artspace, Woolloomooloo, Australia

MusicNOW Festival, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Listening, Baltic 39, Newcastle, UK; The Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK; Site Gallery, Sheffield, uk; Art Exchange, Colchester, UK

Piano Pieces – Pianos. Sounds. Art., Neue Residenz, Salzburg Museum, Salzburg, Austria

Sounds from a Safe Harbour Festival of Music, Art and Conversation, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland

The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, Home Manchester, Manchester, UK

Saga: Narrative Art, Listasafn Islands, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Überschönheit, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria

 Und weg mit den Minuten. Dieter Roth und die Musik, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany

Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture 2015, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

A man walks into a bar… ., me Collectors Room Berlin, Berlin, Germany



Artes Mundi 6, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales, uk



High Performance: Time-Based Media Art since 1996 from the Julia Stoschek Collection, Rīgas Mākslas  Telpa, Riga, Latvia

Imaginary Portraits: Prince Igor, Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, New York, USA

Manifesta 10, Vitebsk Station, St. Petersburg, Russia

Rolling Snowball 5, Chinese European Art Center, Djúpivogur, Iceland

Score, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Vigo, Spain

Your Compound View, Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland

Island: Wenn Bilder erzählen, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany

All Together Now, Nuit Blanche, Hart House, Toronto, Canada

Stanze/Rooms, Works from the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy

Truly Flabby Preludes (For a Dog) 1/4: Pink Noise, La Maison Populaire, Montreuil, France



Göteborg Biennial, with Andjeas Ejiksson, Stora Teatren, Gothenburg, Sweden

Towada Art Festival at Towada Art Centre, Japan

Civilization: Monumental Materialism. Artists colony, MoMA PS1, New York, USA

Deep Feelings: From Antiquity to Now, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems an der Donau, Austria, Venice Biennale, Arsenale di Venezia, Venice, Italy

A Space called Public, part of Elmgreen & Dragset’s project of public artworks, Munich, Germany

Il Palazzo Enciclopedico(The Encyclopaedic Palace) 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy 

Trekk: Contemporary Currents in Icelandic Art Today, Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum, Forde, Norway

1.pers.sing.: The artist’s body between self-portrait and performance, b-05 Kunst- und Kulturzentrum Association e.V, Montabaur, Germany

Sequences VI Real Time Art Festival, Reykjavík



I Wish this was a Song: Music in Contemporary Art, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway

Songs of space, time and lust, Ephemeropterae˜ XIV / XV+, tba21, Vienna, Austria

Á Ciel Ouvert - Le Nouveau Pleinairisme, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Quebec, Canada

True Stories, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Bliss, The National Theatre of Iceland as part of The Reykjavík Art Festival, Iceland

A House Full of Music: Strategies in Music and Art, Institute Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany

Discussing Metamodernism, Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin, Germany

It’s Not the End of the World, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy



A Strange Affinity to the Beautiful and the Dreadful, Hendershot Gallery, New York, USA

Meer Light, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Prospect.2, Prospect New Orleans, New Orleans, USA

The Garden of Forking Paths, Migros Museum, Zürich, Switzerland

iRonic, Die feinsinnige Ironie der Kunst, Kunstparlais Erlangen, Germany

Figura cuncta videntis (the all-seeing eye) / Homage to Christoph Schlingensief, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria



Scene Shifts, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

New Frontier, Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah, USA

Twenty Five, Luhring Augustine, New York, USA

Nordens U-land?, Isländsk konst i kristid, Färgfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden



Performa 09, with Alterazioni Video, Performance Space 122, New York, USA

The Reach of Realism, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida, USA

Lífródur, Hafnarborg, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland




This Must Be the Place, permanent installation, Bergen Airport, Bergen, Norway




21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff, Wales

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA

Center for Curatorial Studies – Hessel Museum 
of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, USA

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA

Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

El Mirador Project, University of Arizona Health Sciences, Tucson, AZ

Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,Turin, Italy

Glenstone, Potomac, MD

Gund Gallery, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, USA

Haudenschild Collection, La Jolla, CA

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, 

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark

McEvoy Foundation of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, 
Florida, USA

Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium

Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie, Warsaw, Poland

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ

Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, USA

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Broad, Los Angeles, California, USA

The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland

The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

University of Copenhagen Maersk Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark

V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, Russia





Reykjavik City Artist, Reykjavik, Iceland


Richard Serra Award, The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland  

Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award, 
St Petersburg, Russia

The Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award, Artes Mundi, Cardiff, Wales, for The Visitors


Icelandic Visual Art Awards, Akureyri Art Museum, 
Akureyri, Iceland


Malcolm McLaren Award at Performa 11, New York, 
USA, for Bliss


Hlustendaverðlaun fm957, Reykjavík, Iceland





All Star Band, Bel-Air Glamour Records



Trabant – Emotional, Southern Fried Records



The Funerals – Lordy, 12 tónar



Trabant – Eva 3, music for a ballet, Ekka Dance Theater



Trabant – Moment of Truth, Thule Musik, tmt 

The Funerals – Pathetic Me, Thule Musik, tmt



Kanada – Kanada, Thule Musik, tmt



Music for ‘Sirkús Skara Skrípó’, Loftkastalinn, Reykjavík, Iceland



Rassi Prump



Kósý, Kósý Jól, Kisi-hljómplötur

Art Fairs