Jonathan Meese Portrait

Jonathan Meese/ Jonathan Meese

Germany 1970

Installation, Sculpture, Painting

www.jonathanmeese.com

Jonathan Meese
Jonathan Meese
Male
Germany
1970

Jonathan Meese is a Berlin-based multimedia artist known to provoke and irritate, but also seduce his worldwide audience. Through his artworks with hints of modern Neo-nazi philosophy, Meese leaves his commentary on crucial issues such as revolution, failed ideologies and the power of art. Meese’s paintings,installations and performances convey bipolar, feverish, at times a raw sexual energy that can be described as vulgar and grotesque but also grandiose. The German artist is one of those people who are not afraid to scream and shout when everyone else is silent and because of this particular quality he is either loved or hated by his audience.

contact exhibitions museum kunst works news
Jonathan Meese – Die Canary, 2014

Early Interest in Arts

Meese is originally from Japan but he moved from Tokyo to Hamburg in Germany still as a child. He showed artistic tendencies from the early age since he was exceptionally gifted when it comes to combining textures and colors with unusual materials and appropriated pictures. In his teenage years, he used to make numerous photo collages featuring scenes from James Bond series and photographs of his favorite musicians, such as the Beatles. His efforts were not only superficial, he was an exceptionally intelligent child and wanted his collages to convey a certain message, may it be funny, cynical or simply awkward. Because of his great talent, Meese decided to pursue a formal education and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, where he showed a strong interest in Dada, installation, video and performance. At the same time, he was studying philosophy and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche became decisively influential on his work. Meese’s goal was to make his art as narrative as possible, because of his strong need to share his opinions related to the political and ideological issues of the past and present.

As a student, Meese showed a strong interest in Dada, installation and performance

contact exhibitions museum kunst works news
Jonathan Meese – Nofretete’s Getreidesacklein, 2003

Role of Power and Fear in Meese’s Works

It is hard to categorize Meese’s work, but what is commonly found in his pieces is the wild atmosphere combined with rawness and primordial forces which seem impossible to tame. His paintings represent a chaotic mix of bold colors and messages that sound like a certain propaganda. He extensively uses religious and political symbols such as the various crosses and well-known Hitler’s swastika. Anything with Neo-Nazi references is susceptible to public abhorrence nowadays, but Meese doesn’t really seems to care. In his world, swastika takes on the symbolism of power, dominance, and even sexual libido, since it is often combined with suggestively red, fleshy tones. The artist’s sculptures carry the same sense of rawness and monstrosity. They are figurative in their nature and often represent mythological monsters or strangely appropriated items, such as random pieces of metal combined with used, shabby textiles. There are a lot of military references in Meese’s installations and sculptures, most common among them being nondescript figures that resemble horses carrying warriors. War, violence and sexuality are the keywords for the entire Meese’s body of work.

Sculptures that Meese creates represent the sense of rawness and monstrosity

Jonathan Meese - Bortolami Gallery Exhibition, 2011 2007 2013 read mother information privacy
Jonathan Meese – Bortolami Gallery Exhibition, 2011

Versatile Artworks

Meese had a great response in terms of his performance in Northern Europe and the United States. He initially showed his work in Copenhagen’s Statens in 2005, together with performance and installation pieces which featured satyr-like figures, representing a strong male libido. Also, in 2005 Meese finished one of his most important sculptural pieces called Der Propagandist, which was another provocation, again with sexual overtones. The sculpture is tall, bronze figure accompanied by two pairs of erect twin phalluses. Since 2008, Meese is exhibiting in the United States as well and his first solo exhibition was held at Bortolami gallery in New York City. The artist’s performance at Bortolami was intense and noisy and it consisted of yelling and giving the Nazi salute. Currently, there are 56 pieces of Meese’s work on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in north Miami. Another interesting fact about Meese is  that he designs theater sets and has written and starred in theater productions. He designed the stage for the opera Dionysus at the Salzburg Festival in 2010.

Meese extensively uses religious and political symbols such as crosses and well-known Hitler’s swastika

Jonathan Meese - Evolution de Large, 2012 kunst
Jonathan Meese – Evolution de Large, 2012

Talent to Channel the Tension

Even though Meese’s projects can’t appeal to everyone, their value still lies in the open rawness they display. Just like the violent acts in music serve to relieve the tension caused by the expectations that civilized society had given us, so is Meese’s work here to make us question our own mask imposed by the society. Perhaps, somewhere deep below, all of us are still warriors, fighters and not overly sophisticated souls, just like some of the creatures that Meese has created. The artist said it best in one of his interviews – in art you have to go too far.

The artist is represented by Galerie Fluegel-Roncak.

Jonathan Meese lives between Berlin and Hamburg.

Featured image: The artist’s portrait – image via news.artnet.com
All other images courtesy of the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Jonathan MeeseDavid Nolan Gallery, New YorkSolo
2015SnafuKulturforum Vis-à-Vis der Stadt Buchen, BuchenGroup
2015Picasso In Der Kunst Der GegenwartDeichtorhallen Hamburg, HamburgGroup
2015Snafu - Situation Normal All Fucked UpKunstraum 49 Shia Bender, DusseldorfGroup
2015Jonathan Meese - Parsifal de LargeGalerie Daniel Templon, ParisSolo
2015A man walks into a bar. . . .Me Collectors Room Berlin, BerlinGroup
2015Ce qui je suis maintenant. Ein Zimmer für Alfred FlechtheimKarl-Ernst-Osthaus-Museum,HagenGroup
2015Bittersüße Zeiten - Barock und Gegenwart in der Sammlung SOR Rusche BerlinKunsthaus Apolda Avantgarde, ApoldaGroup
2015Apocalypse Now! - Visionen von Schrecken und Hoffnung in der Kunst vom Mittelalter bis heuteMuseum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, KaiserslauternGroup
2015SalonMichael Fuchs Galerie, BerlinGroup
2014Jonathan Meese Solo ShowModern Art, LondonSolo
2014Jonathan Meese - Countdown k.u.n.s.t.(Die Geilstinvasion) Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf Solo
2014Johnathan Meese: Johnny Come Home IIContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinSolo
2014Zoo(M) De Large (Jail D'art)Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, CopenhagenSolo
2014Die Leipziger EditionWiensowski & Harbord, BerlinGroup
2014Georg baselitz, per kirkeby, jonathan meese - neue arbeiten auf papieralerie Radicke,Sankt AugustinGroup
2014Anarchy.Utopia.RevolutionLudwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art ,BudapestGroup
2014Bittersüsse Zeiten - Barock Und Gegenwart In Der Sammlung Sør Rusche OeldeBerlin -Kunsthaus Stade, StadeGroup
20144th. Mediations Biennale 2014Mediations Biennale, PoznanGroup
2014Wahrheiten - Zeitgenössische Kunst im Dialog mit alten MeisternBayer Kulturhaus,LeverkusenGroup
2014Ein Zimmer für Alfred FlechtheimRompone, CologneGroup
2014Kunst Ist Chef WIMMERplus A GLOBAL NETWORK IN ART, Prien am Chiemsee Group
2014Friendly TakeoverMARTa Herford, HerfordGroup
2014Snafu - Situation Normal all Fucked UpKunstraum Dreieich, Dreieich-Dreieichenhain Group
2014Le Mur, La collection Antoine de GalbertLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2014PortrayTim Van Laere Gallery, AntwerpGroup
2014Wrong's What I Do BestSan Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014Forever!  DNA, BerlinGroup
2014Front RowContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinGroup
2014Broken Gods Broken HeroeSlewe Galerie, AmsterdamGroup
2014PaperworldsMe Collectors Room Berlin, BerlinGroup
2014Holzdrucke - Radierungen - SteindruckeGalerie Rigassi, BernGroup
2013Malermeese - MeesermalerMuseum der Moderne, SalzburgSolo
2013Jonathan Meese. Totalste Graphik - xhibitAusstellungsräume der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, ViennaSolo
2013Tropical Alaska-Kid (Der Molokobefehl)REGINAGALLERY, MoscowSolo
2013The Carollers of KölbigkGalleri Bo Bjerggaard, CopenhagenGroup
2013Du bist mein Spiegel - You are my mirror Part IIPotemka Contemporary Art, LeipzigGroup
2013SIGNS ON THE ROAD A GROUP EXHIBITION AT THE CAC MÁLAGACAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga Group
2013Everything and MoreTim Van Laere Gallery, AntwerpGroup
2013De leur Temps 4: Nantes Centre d’art Le hangar à Bananes - Le Hab, NantesGroup
2013Curated By_Vienna 2013: Why Painting Now? - Cover-UpKrinzinger Projekte, ViennaGroup
2013Middle Gate Geel '13Cultuurcentrum de Werft, GeelGroup
2013Sehnsucht IchEssl Museum - Kunst der Gegenwart, KlosterneuburgGroup
2013B.A.B.E - The Best Artists Books and EditorsImmanence, espace d'art contemporain, ParisGroup
2013Neuland!Macke, Gaugin Und Andere Entdecke - Kunsthalle in Emden, EmdenGroup
2013Curitiba Biennial 2013Curitiba Biennial, CuritibaGroup
2013Berlin-KlondykeHipp Halle Gmunden, GmundenGroup
2013This Just In!Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MAGroup
2013Adventures of truth - Painting and philosophyFondation Maeght, Saint-PaulGroup
2013Images à taille humaineGalerie Catherine Putman, ParisGroup
2013A collection shows its faceStadtgalerie Bamberg - Villa Dessauer, BambergGroup
2013GroupshowBeijing World Art Museum, BeijingGroup
20131.pers.singb-05 Kunst- und Kulturzentrum, MontabaurGroup
2013Berlin KlondykeWerkschauhalle, LeipzigGroup
2013Mythos WagnerKlinger Forum e.V., LeipzigGroup
2013La magia está en la imagenWürth Museo La Rioja, AgoncilloGroup
2013AccrochageContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinGroup
2013From FigurationSkarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2013Portrait? Nosbaum&Reding, LuxembourgGroup
2012Jonathan Meese Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna Solo
2012Jonathan MeeseTim Van Laere Gallery, AntwerpSolo
2012Jonathan MeeseSies + Höke, Dusseldorf Solo
2012Jonathan MeeseKupferstichkabinett der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, ViennaSolo
2012Jonathan Meese: Evolution De Large (ich-tea-ohhh-saurys)Kunstforeningen GL Strand,CopenhagenSolo
2012Jonathan Meese - GraphicGalerie Catherine Putman, ParisSolo
2012Jonathan Meese - BernierEliades Gallery, AthensSolo
2012Wagner 2013. KünstlerpositionenAdK - Akademie der Künste, BerlinGroup
2012Being HereTim Van Laere Gallery, AntwerpGroup
2012Private Kunstsammlungen MünsterDirector´s Choice - Kunsthalle Münster, MünsterGroup
2012Restitution of a Missing Past?Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst - GfZK, LeipzigGroup
2012Druckgrafik Internationaler MeisterGalerie Eugen Lendl, GrazGroup
2012Language GamesCentro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, CáceresGroup
2012Matter of ChoicesCCA Andratx, Andratx Group
2012Metamorphosis: The Transformation of BeingAll Visual Arts, LondonGroup
2012Juwelen im Rheingold - 10 Jahre Sammlung RheingoldKunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf Group
2012Berlin–KlondykeNeuer Pfaffenhofener Kunstverein, PfaffenhofenGroup
2012Artandpress Kunst. Wahrheit. WirklichkeitZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2012Begegnung Im HinterlandContemporary Prints And Editions - Kolvenburg, BillerbeckGroup
2012Narren. Künstler. HeiligeBundeskunsthalle, BonnGroup
2012Things Beyond Our ControlFredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2012Jonathan Meese, Peter Stauss, Rose WylieRitter Zamet, LondonGroup
2012À reboursVenus Over Manhattan, New York City, NYGroup
2012Berlin zeichnetGalerie der Stadt Sindelfingen, SindelfingenGroup
2012Collaborations & InterventionsCCA Andratx, Andratx Group
2012Collaborations & InterventionsNymphius Projekte Berlin, BerlinGroup
2012The Cross ShownNuova Galleria Morone, MilanGroup
2012ArtandpressMartin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2012Berlin Tut Gut! Exhibition16th Line Gallery, Rostov-on-DonGroup
2012Berlin zeichnetStadtgalerie Kiel, KielGroup
2012Utopie Gesamtkunstwerk 21er Haus, ViennaGroup
2012Nunc Et In Hora Mortis NostraeGalerie Rodolphe Janssen, BrusselsGroup
2011Jonathan Meese - Hot Earl Green Sausage Tea Barbie (First Flush)Bortolami, New York City, NYSolo
2011Jonathan Meese - GeMMuseum voor Actuele Kunst, The HagueSolo
2011Jonathan Meese. Totalste GraphikLyonel Feininger Galerie, QuedlinburgSolo
2011Jonathan MeeseConceptual Art Centre Bukovje, PostojnaSolo
2011Jonathan Meese TVLG_YardTim Van Laere Gallery, AntwerpSolo
2011Jonathan Meese - St. NeutralitéGalerie Daniel Templon, ParisSolo
2011Zu Gast (2) sevenKunstsaele, BerlinGroup
2011Berlin Klondyke 2011Art Center Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Benefizauktion Zug. Des Nak (Neuer Aachener Kunstverein)Neuer Aachener Kunstverein,AachenGroup
2011Lets Party For A Piece Of ArtPinakothek der Moderne, MunichGroup
2011Painting…expandedEspacio 1414, SanturceGroup
2011Performa 11Performa, New York City, NYGroup
2011The Silver Show - 25 Jahre NakNeuer Aachener Kunstverein, AachenGroup
2011Eyes Wide Shut - Contemporary Drawings From Germany Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011arkhaiologia - Archäologie in der zeitgenössischen KunstKunsthaus CentrePasquArt - Centre d'Art, Biel, BienneGroup
2011A Paper TrailDe Warande, TurnhoutGroup
2011Oceanic CircleArtlounge-Projects Gallery, HamburgGroup
2011Gute HoffnungGalerie Sabine Knust, MunichGroup
2011Berlin Klondyke 2011The Odd Gallery, Dawson, YTGroup
2011BronzeMichael Fuchs Galerie, BerlinGroup
2011BronzenGalerie Michael Haas, Berlin Group
2011BronzenGalerie Haas & Fuchs, BerlinGroup
2011HotSpot Berlin. Eine MomentaufnahmeGeorg Kolbe Museum, BerlinGroup
2011Battle, Power and FaithMuseum of Anatolian Civilizations, AnkaraGroup
2011Il Santo Momento Der heilige AugenblickeMuseum am Dom, WürzburgGroup
2011The Magic of ClayCeramics in contemporary art - Gl Holtegaard, HolteGroup
2011What's He Building in There?Fuse Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011Skeletons of BeerPablo Galleries, Quezon CityGroup
2011Freibeuter der UtopieWeserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenGroup
2011Text WerkeHeidelberger Kunstverein, HeidelbergGroup
2011Arp, Beckmann, Munch, Kirchner, Warhol …Klassiker in Bonn - Bundeskunsthalle, BonnGroup
2011AnimalGalerie Im Regierungsviertel - Forgotten Bar, BerlinGroup
2010Jonathan Meese - SculptureMuseum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FLSolo
2010Berlin zeichnet!Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, OsnabruckGroup
2010Crefelder Gesellschaft für Venezianische Malerei Galerie Börgmann, MönchengladbachGroup
2010Ein Hauch von Eden Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld Group
2010PhysicalAutocenter, BerlinGroup
2010The 5th Anniversary ExhibitionPatricia Low Contemporary, GenevaGroup
2010Sounds. Radio – Kunst – Neue MusikZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2010James Ensor - Hareng Saur: Ensor et l'art contemporainSMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, GhentGroup
2010Berlin zeichnet!Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, KoblenzGroup
2010Public Private Paintings. 2000-2010: 10 jaar schilderkunst uit publieke en privécollecties in Vlaanderen en BrusselKunstmuseum Aan Zee, OostendeGroup
2010Hommage an David LynchMönchehaus Museum Goslar, GoslarGroup
2010Public Private PaintingsMu.ZEE, OostendeGroup
2010Going InternationalFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2010Look Up! Natural Porto Art ShowLook Up! Natural Porto Art Show, PortoGroup
2010MisericordiaPrism, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2010Se Não Neste Tempo – Pintura Alemã Contemporânea: 1989-2010Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP, São PauloGroup
2010Hoch und Tief – Die Kunst der GrafikKunstverein Oerlinghausen, OerlinghausenGroup
2010Boy, Oh Boy!Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2010Collection Show 2010Arario Gallery Seoul, SeoulGroup
2010Das Fundament in der Kunst - Die Skulptur und ihr Sockel in der ModerneArp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, RemagenGroup
2010Schritte ins Verborgene - Kunst und das GeheimnisvolleKunstmuseum des Kantons Thurgau,WarthGroup
2010Märchen KunstKunsthalle Darmstadt, DarmstadtGroup
2010AlbumV1 Gallery, CopenhagenGroup
2010Márgenes de Silencio (Margins of Silence)Centro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, CáceresGroup
2010Schnittstelle DruckMuseum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, LeipzigGroup
2010En Privado 2. La Opción DesamableEs Baluard Museu d’Art Modern, Palma de MallorcaGroup
2010Schnittstelle DruckGalerie der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (HGB), LeipzigGroup
2010SkulpturengartenVilla Schöningen, PotsdamGroup
2010Best of WonderlandWAS - Wonderland Art Space, CopenhagenGroup
2010Hotspot BerlinGeorg Kolbe Museum, BerlinGroup
2010AKTUALITÄT EINES MEDIUMS. NADER AHRIMAN BIS CHEN ZHENGalerie Krinzinger, ViennaGroup
2010Permanent Trouble - Aktuelle Kunst aus der Sammlung KoppKOG - Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, RegensburgGroup
2010Collection 3 - Fondation pour L'Art ContemporainClaudine et Jean-Marc Salomon, AlexGroup
2010Frühjahrsausstellung im Kunsthaus NRWKunsthaus NRW, KrefeldGroup
2010SOCKEL – das Fundament der KunstGerhard Marcks Haus, BremenGroup
2010Self-Fulfilling PropheciesKoenig & Clinton, New York City, NYGroup
2010Aus privaten SammlungenGalerie Renate Kammer, HamburgGroup
2010Corso. Werke der Sammlung Essl im DialogEssl Museum - Kunst der Gegenwart,KlosterneuburgGroup
2010collection privée - l'art que j'aimeGalerie Gabriele Senn, ViennaGroup
2009Jonathan MeesePatricia Low Contemporary, GstaadSolo
2009Mein Taxi ist schon wegGalerie Noah, AugsburgSolo
2009Jonathan Meese - BABYPROPAGANDADDY'S Metabolismys (FISHYALARM IN ANTARKTIKA ON BOHRINSEL MOOMIN)Tomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoSolo
2009Baby 'Kunst' (Metabolism rock's)REGINAGALLERY, MoscowSolo
2009Jonathan Meese - Erzstaat AtlantisisArp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, RemagenSolo
2009jonathan meeseGalerie Radicke, Sankt AugustinSolo
2009Jonathan Meese CASINOZ BABYMETABOLISMN (Put DR. NO’S MONEY in your mouth, Baby)Stuart Shave, Modern Art, LondonSolo
2008Jonathan Meese - BABYPROPAGANDADDY'S Metabolismys (FISHYALARM IN ANTARKTIKA ON BOHRINSEL MOOMIN)Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, CopenhagenSolo
2008ALARM de ALARM (PROPAGANDA IN ALASKA)Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MASolo
2008Jonathan Meese - Dr. Go HomeThe Journal Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2008Jonathan Meese - Dictatorbaby Mary Poppin's Cats, Dogs, and Eggpies (The Revolutionbaby De Large Is Back)Bortolami, New York City, NYSolo
2008Jonathan MeeseContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinSolo
2008General SweetieGalerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, MumbaiSolo
2007Jonathan Meese - Don´t Call Us, We Call YouGalerie Krinzinger, Vienna Solo
2007Jonathan Meese - Fräulein AtlantisEssl Museum - Kunst der Gegenwart, KlosterneuburgSolo
2007Gundling Meese ErzstaatStiftung Schloss Neuhardenberg , NeuhardenbergSolo
2007Jonathan Meesede Appel arts centre, AmsterdamSolo
2007Jonathan Meese: SEI LIEB MUMIN (TANZ DE DEPUTY)Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe,KarlsruheSolo
2007Jonathan MeeseGalerie Daniel Blau, MunichSolo
2006Jonathan Meese - MAGASINCentre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, GrenobleSolo
2006Jonathan Meese, Schergentoni Suzy WongGalerie Haas AG, ZurichSolo
2006Jonathan Meese – mama johnnyDeichtorhallen Hamburg, HamburgSolo
2006Mama JohnnySorry, we’re closed, BrusselsSolo
2005Jonathan Meese - Sherwood Forest De Hallen, HaarlemSolo
2005Dr. SocratesArario Gallery Cheonan, Cheonan-siSolo
2005Jonathan MeeseREGINAGALLERY, MoscowSolo
2005Jonathan Meese - General Tanz: Drei Streifen für ein HallelujaContemporary Fine Arts - CFA,BerlinSolo
2005Jonathan Meese Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf Solo
2005Jonathan Meese - Vive FantômasFRAC - Auvergne, Clermont FerrandSolo
2004Jonathan Meese - Solo Für Onkel Schnapp-Gebiss Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna Solo
2004Jonathan Meese. DR. STAATSALLDommuseum zu Salzburg, SalzburgSolo
2004Jonathan Meese - Das Bildnis des Dr. Fu ManchuContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinSolo
2004Jonathan MeeseKoenig & Clinton, New York City, NYSolo
2004Képi Blanc - nacktSchirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtSolo
2002Jonathan Meese - L'AmourGalerie Daniel Templon, ParisSolo
2002Jonathan Meese: RevolutionKestnergesellschaft, HannoverSolo
2002Jonathan Meese - Young AmericansContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinSolo
2001Jonathan Meese - Van Gogh 1924 (Selbstbildnis mit Spindel)  Galerie Krinzinger, ViennaSolo
2001Jonathan MeeseKoenig & Clinton, New York City, NYSolo
2000Jonathan Meese - Kunst-Werke BerlinKW Institute for Contemporary Art , BerlinSolo
2000Jonathan Meese - Paolo CurtiAnnamaria Gambuzzi & Co. Gallery, MilanSolo