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Kjartansson, Ragnar (Artist); Schoen, Christian (Editor) & Various Contributors. RAGNAR KJARTANSSON: THE END. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2009. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 120 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective Exhibition Monograph. The single best introduction to the ground-breaking art of Ragnar Kjartansson. The first and only edition. Precedes and should not be confused with "The End: Venezia" Exhibition Catalog, which is focussed exclusively on the artist's Venice performance-installation. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Ragnar Kjartansson and Christian Schoen: Oversize-volume format. Black hard boards with white titles on cover and spine, as issued. Art by Ragnar Kjartansson. Text by various contributors, many of whom have worked with the artist, notably Pall Haukur Bjornsson. Printed on glossy stock paper in Germany to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine and huge flaps, as issued. Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name held during the Venice Biennale at the Pavilion of Iceland, Palazzo Michiel dal Brussa, in Venice, Italy in 2009. Presents Ragnar Kjartansson's "The End". A memorable beginning: Brilliant and comprehensive overview of his art, aesthetics, and significant achievement thus far. "A prolific performance artist and musician whose genre-bending installation-performances include music, video, painting, drawing, and sculptural elements that careen between emotional extremes. Ragnar Kjartansson's work is a cross-over between performance and cinema, sculpture and opera, painting and music. He produces large-scale, multi-disciplinary projects, and the production requires the collaboration of several participants: Actors, musicians, fellow artists, friends, and even family members. Experimenting with the mechanisms of theatre and the dramatic impulses of tragedy, Kjartansson succeeds in bringing emotions out of melodramatic actions, revealing the reality on which relies every interpretation" (Publisher's blurb). Kjartansson's art is about seemingly endless, mind-boggling, and hypnotic repetition. The more he repeats the exact same thing over and over again, the more both its meaning and significance accumulate and cut across. As such, he has affinities with Minimalist music (Classical and all kinds of other music are an underlying current of his work). At a critical point, this single-minded repetition becomes cathartic, for him, the tireless artist/performer, and for his audience, the patient spectator. An absolute "must-have" title for Ragnar Kjartansson collectors. This copy of the Exhibition Monograph is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen-marker on the Dedication Page by Ragnar Kjartansson. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. He also drew a "broken" heart above his signature, which alludes to his great watercolor painting, "The Quest For Shelley's Heart" (2007). The latter is reproduced on Page 28. This title is a contemporary art classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy with drawing of the Exhibition Monograph available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with color plates. Regarded by The New Yorker Magazine as the most brilliant performance-cum-installation artist of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RAGNAR KJARTANSSON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 3775723331. $300.00

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