Jonathan Meese "Jonathan Rockford…

Jonathan Meese "Jonathan Rockford (Don't call me back, please)"

de Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, Amsterdam

'In the work of Jonathan Meese everything is Everything and everything is Nothing', according to art critic Friedrich Meschede. In the summer of 2007 this 'inventor of idols' will visit de Appel. Meese (Tokyo 1970), who lives and works in Berlin and Hamburg, will install a contemporary Wunderkammer on the first floor of de Appel with paintings, murals, drawings, assemblages, objects, collages, photos, pictures from magazines, posters and painted texts on the walls. In this way the artist aims to create a 'site-specific' total installation.

Jonathan Meese in de Appel
a video on Jonathan Meese by Danila Cahen (filmmaker, curator and former CTP-student de Appel)

Jonathan Meese is one of German art's rising stars, who through his radical way of working, ambitious themes and heavy symbolism has caused quite a stir since he graduated from the Hamburg-based Hochschule für Bildende Künsten in 1998. His work is based on an almost nineteenth century early romantic attitude to art: it is the mission of the artist to serve 'die Sache Kunst' and give visual expression to everything that he thinks, experiences and feels. This has generated an oeuvre that presents an excentric universe filled with personal obsessions and bizarre fantasies: art with a grand gesture that depicts visions and appeals to universal sentiments.

With his eclectic mix of mythology, history and pop culture, Meese alludes to major upheavals in Western history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He does not shy from pathos or bombast and refers repeatedly to his personal (notorious) 'heroes' that range from dictators and Hollywood stars to philosophers and musicians. Noel Coward and Ezra Pound, Marquis de Sade and Dorian Gray, Stalin and Nero, Wagner and Napoleon, or Nietzsche and even Meese's own mother populate his chaotically visualized world of ideas. The installations include not only paintings and sculptures but also a multitude of objects and bear witness to Meese's interest in 'imposing' themes like fallen heroes and the opposing forces of good and evil.

Meese's work was recently on show in the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and the MAGASIN Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble (2006), the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2006), The Saatchi Gallery, London (2005). Performances were held in amongst others the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, (2006), the Arario Gallery, Beijing (2006) and the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London (2006).

Jonathan Meese “Jonathan Rockford (don't call me back, please)”

collection (unintended), 2007

See also