Jonathan Meese

19 May - 04 Jul 2009

© Jonathan Meese
'Dr.Noseelenjack is Back', 2008
oil on canvas
"Baby 'Kunst' (Metabolism Rock's)"

19th May - 4th July 2009

REGINA Gallery is pleased to present BABY 'KUNST' (METABOLISM ROCK'S), a solo show of new works by Jonathan Meese, top-liner of new German art. With this exhibition REGINA continues to introduce much discussed oeuvre of the ingenious artist, first shown in Russia by REGINA Gallery in 2005.

Meese's esthetics can hardly be assigned to one definite style or school. Revel of colours and patterns is a not easily decodable system of signs/badges, neologisms, symbols, and figurative allusions to all types of power seekers, mythical personages and geniuses of history, stars and starlets of pop culture, or fictional heroes of novels and films. Out of them, Meese creates his own universe far from the standards. It is populated by Caligula, Stalin, Scarlett Johannson, Marquis de Sade, Richard Wagner, Balthus, and Dr. No - to name just a few.

His work sometimes includes the attempt to thematize German mythology and German delusion, and insofar shows a (merely thematic) analogy to the early Anselm Kiefer. "Everything is a toy. There's nothing else to it. Communism, National Socialism, the ancient Egypt or the ancient Rome, nothing will come again. Nor can I any longer hope for a revolution made by the people in the street, humans are not able to achieve that. We should have something different being unleashed: the volcano of art may erupt", Meese recently said in an interview.

Meese's position as an artist is defined by his striving for the autonomy of art and for general negation of self-reference. His concern is not about the artist's ego realizing itself in art but about the separation of both spheres from each other. The utopian project of a dictatorship of art - a goal often proclaimed in Meese's performances - is in the centre of Meese's work. As Meese puts it: "Art is completely indifferent about how Jonathan Meese feels."

Meese, born 1970 in Tokyo, grew up in Northern Germany. From 1993 to 1998 studied at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg. Today he lives and works in Berlin and Hamburg. He began his career as a painter and then extended his practice and dedicated himself to installation and performance. In the last few years, he had extensive solo exhibitions at KunstWerke, Berlin (2000), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2004), the museum of the Collection Essl, Vienna (2007) and La Caixa, Barcelona (2008). Works of Meese are exhibited in numerous important institutional collections, like the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Saatchi Gallery, London.

Tags: Balthus, Anselm Kiefer, Jonathan Meese