Jonathan Meese

Jonathan Meese, widely recognised as a visual provocateur, takes gestural abstraction to another level through his intense engagement with materials. His paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, and immersive installations are charged with a riotous palette of colour, unconstrained mark-making and haphazardly assembled kitsch objects—appearing at once fierce and spontaneous. Paint is squeezed thickly from the tube or splattered and dripped, crayon and ink pen are scribbled, objects are scattered. The faces and creatures that feature in his work are based on personas, both fantastical and historical, as well as on self-portraits or himself in disguise. Writing and text in his work make references to literature, films, and ideologies. Titles in German, urgently written in capital letters, address the viewer with declarative and passionate statements, often about art, artists, or the depicted imagery.

Artist bio

German artist Jonathan Meese (1970, Tokyo) lives and works in Berlin and Ahrensburg. He attended Hochschulen für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK), Hamburg (1995–1998). His work is in collections including Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Magasin III – Museum of Contemporary Art, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; S.M.A.K. – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen; among others.

Exhibition archive