The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Homlebæk, Denmark, presents ‘Epic Waste of Love and Understanding,’ a retrospective of Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976). The exhibition is the Icelandic artist’s first retrospective in Scandinavia and features video, painting, sculpture and drawing, and performance work. The show runs through October 22.
Kjartansson draws on various references from Western cultural history, art history, literature, politics, and popular culture. Love, identity, melancholy, masculinity, power, and powerlessness are his central themes, and repetition is a method he often utilizes. His works find a balance between tragedy and comedy by repeating a motif, a scene, or astrophe over a prolonged period of time.
His work is acclaimed for its acute conveyance of the tension between existential or political seriousness and superficial clichés. The exhibition presents his new performance work, ‘Scared Man-in Danish Bangemand’ at the gallery from 11:00 to 21:00 on weekdays and from 11:00 to 17:00 on weekends.
The National Galleries of Scotland presents “Grayson Perry: Smash Hits,” Grayson Perry’s (Sir Grayson Perry CBE RA Hon FRIBA, b. 1960) largest solo exhibition to date, on view through November 12. Winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, Perry is a leading British contemporary artist known for painting images of sex, Punk, and counterculture on traditional ceramics. In addition to ceramics, he also creates tapestries and prints, writes, and hosts television programs.
Perry deals with universal themes such as masculinity, sexuality, class, religion, politics, and identity. His work takes on classic art forms that reference craft traditions but offers sharp critiques of controversial contemporary issues with a perverted imagination.
The exhibition divides his oeuvre into thematic sections. Tapestries, subversive ceramics, and new works exploring national identity are on view.
The George Economou Collection in Athens presents “Steven Shearer: Sleep, Death’s Own Brother,” a solo exhibition by American painter Steven Shearer (b. 1968). The title quotes Hesiodos’ eighth-century B.C. epic ‘Theogony.’
The exhibition’s theme, the uneasy proximity of sleep and death, is a recurring trope in Shearer’s work. Since the early 2000s, Shearer was acclaimed for his transhistorical style, which combined the 1970s teen culture, proletarian aesthetics of the global metal underground, and canonical art history. The influence of Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and late medieval Gothic paintings was particularly evident.
However, the recent works in the show, ‘Atheist’s Commission (2018)’ and ‘Potter (2021),’ remind less of pop culture images and add Christian colors. The exhibition cites the brotherhood of death and sleep as one of the principles of Jesus’ resurrection, adding religious meaning to Shearer’s theme. The show is on view through March 2024.