Prizes and Press for Icelandic Artists

Ragnar Kjartansson and his model looking out over the Grand Canal in Venice.

Prizes and Press for Icelandic Artists

Although Icelanders are hard-pressed by the economic downturn there is plenty to feel good about in the art field. Ragnar Kjartansson had a great opening in the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale where he will spend the next six months in a performance that would test the endurance of any artist: Painting, in front of an audience, the same male model over and over, every day until November. His exhibition, which also includes a video installation shot in the Canadian Rockies, has already generated an astonishing number of articles in the international press, including pre-opening feature articles in Modern Painters, Art in America and the New York Times. This issue of list includes a report on the opening with links to these articles, and an interview with Ragnar, conducted by Shauna Laurel Jones.

Not only the younger generation attracts attention these days as just last month it was announced that veteran artist Kristján Guðmundsson was to be awarded first prize in the Carnegie Art Award. This is the most prestigious art award in the Nordic countries and carries one of the largest monetary awards of any prize in the international art world. The award show will tour the Nordic capital cities and is also to be seen in London, Cannes and Beijing. This issue includes an introduction to Kristján’s work and career.

Here at List we have been working to redesign the site and add capabilities. The first thing readers will notice is that the image galleries now appear on the same page as the relevant article and can be browsed by running the mouse pointer across the thumbnails. For a closer look, simply click the thumbnail. Over the years we have also amassed a great deal of writing on Icelandic art and artists – to say nothing of all the images of artwork – but this information has become harder to access as the number of issues has grown. We have now created a database that can be searched from any page on the site and will bring up a list of results with links to all relevant articles. Currently the database contains issues 1-8 and 20-23, the remaining ones to be added in the next few days. We hope this will make the site much more useful.

As can be seen in the contents column, there are news of Icelandic artists from all over the world and more is to come in the months ahead. Meanwhile, for those visiting Iceland this summer, there is plenty of activity here at home with ambitious exhibitions in the museums and galleries in Reykjavík and around the country.


List: Icelandic Art News is published by the Center for Icelandic Art, a cooperative project of Iceland’s museums and artists’ organisations. List is edited by Christian Schoen and Jón Proppé. If you wish not to receive announcements of our new issues – or you want to contact us for any other reason – please send a mail to list@cia.is.