Moderated by exhibition co-curator Pari Stave, curators and artists – including Andrea Kroksnes, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo;
John Ravenal, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and contemporary Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson – discuss Edvard Munch’s influence on art today.
About the participants
Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976, Reykjavík) draws on the entire arc of art in his performative practice. The history of film, music, theater, visual culture, and literature finds its 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 offering a genuine experience to the audience. His playful work is full of unique moments where a conflict of the dramatic and the banal culminates in a memorable way. Kjartansson’s pieces are characterized by the play between contradictory feelings – sorrow and happiness, horror and beauty, drama and humor.
Kjartansson’s work has been exhibited widely. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Luhring Augustine in New York (Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors, 2013); the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (Benefit, 2012), the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (Ragnar Kjartansson: The End-Venezia, 2012), Frankfurter Kunstverein (Ragnar Kjartansson: Endless Longing, Eternal Return, 2011), and BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna (Take me here by the Dishwasher, 2011). Song, his first American solo museum show, was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh in 2011, and has since traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston. Kjartansson was the recipient of Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award for his performance of Bliss, a twelve-hour live loop of the final aria of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and in 2009 he was the youngest artist to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale’s International Art Exhibition. He studied at The Icelandic Academy of the Arts (1997 – 2001) and The Royal Academy in Stockholm (2000). The artist lives and works in Reykjavík.
Dr. Andrea Kroksnes (b. 1971) is an art historian, curator, and art critic. She graduated in applied cultural studies at the University of Lüneburg, then studied art history and criticism at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Since autumn 2001 she has been Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, which now, following the fusion of Oslo’s four largest museums in 2003, forms part of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. Besides numerous thematic group exhibitions, Kroksnes has also curated solo exhibitions by international artists such as Thomas Ruff (2002, in collaboration with the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden), Paul McCarthy (2003, together with the Kunstverein in Hamburg), Nick Relph/Oliver Payne (2003–2004, in collaboration with the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris), Rémy Zaugg (2004), Louise Lawler (2005), and Kirstine Roepstorff (2010, with Kunstmuseum Basel). In 2003, Kroksnes co-curated the Nordic Pavillon at Francesco Bonami´s Venice Biennale.
She is currently working on a museum show with artist Ida Ekblad for 2013, preparing a thematic group show on “”Democracies”” for 2014, and is also co-curating a Louise Bourgeois and Edvard Munch show for 2015 with Nils Ohlsen, Director of the Department of Old Masters and Modern Art at the National Museum in Oslo. Kroksnes has also lectured at the art academies of Oslo and Bergen. In recent years she has published and contributed to a number of catalogues on international artists including Karin Mamma Andersen, Chantal Akerman, Rosa Barba, Kristina Braein, Dan Colen, Tacita Dean, Nathalie Djuberg, Olafur Eliasson, Matias Faldbakken, Marine Hugonnier, Isaac Julien, Lisa Lounila, Olaf Metzel, Alexandra Mir, Helen Mirra, Marjetica Potrc, Lara Schnitger, Robert Smithson, Fiona Tan, Amelie von Wulffen, and Knut Åsdam. As a critic she has written essays for specialist journals and compendia such as Artforum, Kunst og Kultur, Texte zur Kunst, Springerin: Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, Siksi: The Nordic Art Review, Parkett, and NU.
John Ravenal is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). Since joining VMFA in 1998, Ravenal’s exhibitions have included Vanitas: Mediations on Life and Death in Contemporary Art (2000); Outer & Inner Space (2002), a history of video art that received an Emily Hill Tremaine Exhibition Award; Robert Lazzarini’s first solo museum exhibition (2004; recognized by the International Association of Art Critics as one of the year’s best shows); and Artificial Light, displayed at VCUarts Anderson Gallery and the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art during Art Basel Miami Beach (2006). He also authored the book Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2007).
From 1991 – 1998, Ravenal worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he was Associate Curator of 20th Century Art. His exhibitions there included commissioned projects by Sherrie Levine, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Long, and Rirkrit Tiravanija; a retrospective of paintings and drawings by Sidney Goodman; and the first United States museum exhibition by Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. Ravenal earned his M.A. and M.Phil. in art history from Columbia University.
Pari Stave is a New York-based freelance curator specializing in contemporary art. She has a B.A. in American history from Rutgers University and art history at the Institute of Fine Arts/ NYU. For the past two years she has worked as a consulting curator to The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF), working closely on the exhibitions Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912 (2011 – 12), Unnatural Formations: Three Contemporary Photographers (2012), New Wave Finland: Contemporary Photography from the Helsinki School (2013), and MUNCH | WARHOL and the Multiple Image (2013). Stave is presently curating an exhibition on contemporary Icelandic art and a group exhibition of contemporary artists inspired by the Arctic Circle Project.