• Jonathan Meese



    Jonathan Meese was born in Tokyo in 1970 to a German mother and Welsh father. Together with his siblings and mother, Jonathan relocated shortly thereafter to Hamburg. He spent his childhood escaping into alternate worlds, surrounded by toys, comics, Star Trek, and mesmerized by cinema. His mother nurtured his artistic sensibility by buying his first sketchpad and pastel set and encouraged him to study at the renowned Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, where he studied under Franz Erhard Walther, a pioneer of participatory art. Walther’s philosophy favors improvisational installation that are activated by the viewer’s imagination; he conceived corporeal sculptures that could be arranged in multiple ways or display solutions imbued with a humanism that would profoundly affect Meese’s practice.


    Meese operates apart from any ideology and rejects what he considers the blunders of modern society: politics, Hollywood, celebrity worship. Rather than despair, he believes an ideal future is possible through art, and through love. The artist frequently alludes to a fictional utopia where art enables us to a plane of higher consciousness. Meese references the banal and the mass-produced, only to obscure or mask them through his own defiant gesture: a symbolic triumph of the creative expression reigns supreme. The artist is a public servant to this mission — uniting people through art and ushering us into an imagined space where potential is limitless.

  • Meese’s work has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions including the recent retrospective DR. ZUHAUSE: K.U.N.S.T. (Erzliebe) at...

    Jonathan Meese ©Jan Bauer, 2016

    Meese’s work has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions including the recent retrospective DR. ZUHAUSE: K.U.N.S.T. (Erzliebe) at the Gesamtkunstwerk Lübeck (2019); Meese’s Odyssey at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2018), PARSIFAL’S TRAUM: CHEFSACHE ‘K.U.N.S.T.’ at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2017), MALERMEESE - MEESERMALER at Museum der Moderne Salzburg (2013), Jonathan Meese: Sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2010), Mama Johnny at Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2006), Képi blanc, nackt at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2004), and Revolution at Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover (2002), among others.


    His work is represented in prominent public collections internationally, including Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria; Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Florida; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; de La Cruz Collection, Miami; Hall Art Foundation; Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent; and Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, among others.

  • Selected works


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