Jonathan Meese

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Jonathan Meese
Jonathan Meese, 2009
Born January 23, 1970 (1970-01-23)
Tokyo, Japan
Nationality German
Education Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
Known for Painting, Sculpture, Performance art, Installation art
Movement Contemporary art
Awards Berliner Bär (BZ-Kulturpreis), 2007

Jonathan Meese (born January 23, 1970) is a German painter, sculptor, performance artist and installation artist based in Berlin and Hamburg. Meese's (often multi-media) works include collages, drawings and writing. He also designs theater sets and wrote and starred in a play, "De Frau: Dr. Poundaddylein - Dr. Ezodysseusszeusuzur" in 2007 at the Volksbühne Theater.


Performance "Jonathan Meese ist Mutter Parzival" at Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin, March 2005

Meese attended the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, but left the school before completing his studies and was picked up by Berlin gallery Contemporary Fine Arts. An early installation Ahoi der Angst was presented at the first Berlin Biennale in 1998. Susanne Titz, writing about the Biennale said, "It was thus clear that Meese had indeed put his finger on the pulse of his generation and presented it."[1] According to Karel Schampers, "Jonathan Meese can tell a story in such a gripping way that you would never have the idea to doubt its truth. Especially his installations benefit from this quality,"[2]

Meese has been included in exhibitions “Spezialbilder” at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin, “Grotesk!” at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and “Schnitt bringt Schnitte” at Ausstellungsraum Schnitt in Köln. Recent exhibitions include Thanks, Wally Whyton (Revendaddy Phantomilky on Coconut Islandaddy) at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, in London, and a performance at Tate Modern, entitled Noel Coward Is Back — Dr. Humpty Dumpty vs. Fra No-Finger.[3][4] He has exhibited at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, and Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), North Miami presented the first major solo museum exhibition in the United States for Jonathan Meese, which included Meese's paintings that mix personal hieroglyphics and collage, installations, ecstatic performances, and a powerful body of sculptures in a variety of media. The exhibition was on view from December 1, 2010 – February 13, 2011, during Art Basel Miami Beach 2010. Jonathan Meese: Sculpture was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and curated by Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater. In 2007, he collaborated with the composer Karlheinz Essl on the installation FRÄULEIN ATLANTIS shown at the Essl Museum in Vienna/Klosterneuburg.

Meese is represented by Bortolami Gallery in New York, Stuart Shave/Modern Art in London and Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris.

He has worked collaboratively with the painters Jörg Immendorff, Albert Oehlen, Tim Berresheim, Daniel Richter, Tal R and the composer Karlheinz Essl.

For the Salzburg Festival 2010, Meese created an acclaimed stage design for the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's opera Dionysus.[5] For the Bayreuth Festival in 2016 Meese was offered a contract to direct a new production of Parsifal. This contract has since been rescinded, the official reason being that it would have been too expensive for the Festival to maintain.[6]


Collections of art that own examples of Meese's work include

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Titz, Susanne. (2007). "Mr. Deltoid's a.k.a. Urleandrusus' Sonnenallee AHOI DE ANGST FAIR WELL Good Bye". In Mama Johnny. Köln: Contemporary Fine Arts and Walther König, 321
  2. ^ Schampers, Karel. (2007). "Sherwood Forest: Jonathan Meese and Jörg Immendorff". In Mama Johnny. Köln: Contemporary Fine Arts and Walther König, 316
  3. ^ Melissa Gronlund (February 20, 2006), Jonathan Meese, ARTINFO, retrieved 2008-05-14 
  4. ^ Claire Bishop (January 3, 2006) Performance Anxiety,
  5. ^ Hans-Joachim Müller (August 2, 2010), Das ist eine brutal gute Zeit für einen Neustart Die Welt,
  6. ^ Tom Service (November 19, 2014), Bayreuth pulls the plug on controversial director, The Guardian, retrieved 2014-12-14 

External links[edit]