Apparently effortlessly, he has developed in all genres an independent and at the same time unique vocabulary that gives his work a variety, visual energy and quality which, according to Robert Fleck, has been unheard of since Picasso. All of Meese’s work share a humor tending towards the grotesque, as well as a powerful, original creative will. Both are driven and supported by a striving for a rule of art, the dictatorship of art. What is meant here is the development of a new world order where art is the legislative power, and free play the foundation of all life and creation.This utopian approach runs like a leitmotif through all his works and brings his individual parts of the oeuvre together to form the Jonathan Meese Gesamtkunstwerk. He does not aim at anarchy, but rather the rule of metabolic necessity: ‘Art is total play.’ From this principle, he deconstructs, ornamentalises and caricatures all forms, words, and symbols, stripping them of their original semantic meaning. The use of historically loaded and taboo symbols such as the swastika, iron cross, or Latin cross in art is not a problem for Meese. On the contrary, art provides new possibilities for dealing with them.*
Jonathan Meese has exhibited globally with museums and leading art galleries including solo shows at Gem, The Hague; CAC Málaga, Málaga; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; De Appel Center for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam; group shows at Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; MARTa Herford, Herford; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Saatchi Gallery, London; MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York.
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*Excerpt from a text by Doris Mampe