Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens: MARQUIS D’ OCTAN

JONATHAN MEESE

January 12 – March 1, 2012

The Bernier/Eliades Gallery is proud to present the latest body of work by Jonathan Meese in the exhibition: “MARQUIS D’ OCTAN (MISS MEESI-P-EGGY DOC DOGGY PIGGY DICK DICKSON DICK DUCKY IS IN TOWN)”.

It is the artist’s first show in Greece and includes a series of new paintings and sculptures on a large scale created especially.

Photo copyright Jan Bauer, courtesy Jonathan Meese and the Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens

Jonathan Meese (b. 1970, Tokyo) appeared on the international art scene back in 1998 and is now one of the contemporary art world's most enigmatic, seductive and rebellious figures. He is renowned for his multi-faceted work, including wildly exuberant paintings that mix personal hieroglyphics and collage, installations, ecstatic performances, and a powerful body of sculptures in a variety of media.

At the core of his work remains an unrelenting sense of history, based on intimate drawings, symbols and objects which form the mythological universe of his life’s work, drawing in the innocent by-stander almost by force.

Meese has a reputation for explosive productions in large formats, in which he positions his mythological figures, collage poetry, fields of colour and quotations in an uncontrollably expressive fashion. In his works one can also observe a particular obsession towards the more notorious or tragic figures: Nero, Imhotep, Caligula, Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler have all made guest-star appearances, alongside Meese’s self-portraits and literary quotes that come to embody ideological and political statements.

His latest paintings and sculptures are the fruit of a new phase of exploration of the medium. Paintings overflow with collage, slogans and graffiti in a post-apocalyptic twilight that lingers between extreme humor and violence. The artist has orchestrated a conflict between varnishes and impastos, dynamic action strokes and fine lines derived from an esoteric universe that squeezes the forces of good and evil out of antiquity, history and contemporary popular culture.

Jonathan Meese’s work is found in important public and private collections including: MoMA New York, the Pompidou and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. He has participated in significant group shows such as: the Berlin Biennial, 1998, "Generation Z", PS1-New York, 1999, "New Blood", Saatchi Collection, 2004 and "Dionysiac", at the Pompidou Paris, 2005. In December 2010, MoCA Miami hosted a large solo retrospective of early and recent works.

Accordingly, Meese is known for his magnanimous performances that include an improvisation for Wagner's Parsifal at the Staatsoper, Berlin, in 2005, and “Noël Coward is Back”, at Tate Modern, London in 2006, "WAR 'SAINT JUST (FIRST FLASH)'", at Performa, New York in 2011.

In 2010 he designed the sets for the world premiere of the opera "Dionysus", a new opera by Wolfgang Rihm on the last cycle of Nietzsche’s poems "Dionysus-Dithyrambs", opening the Salzburg Festival.

Currently he is working on a set design for Théâtre des Champs Élysées.

Jonathan Meese lives and works in Berlin.

BERNIER/ELIADES GALLERY
11 Eptachalkou Street
Athens, GR-118 51
www.bernier-eliades.gr

The Gallery is open Tue-Fri 10:30-18:30 / Saturday 12:00-16:00.

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