Bernier/Eliades Gallery: The third solo show of the German artist Jonathan Meese in Athens

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The Bernier/Eliades Gallery will host the third solo show of the German artist Jonathan Meese in Athens. Meese’s artistic practice encompasses a wide range of mediums, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, performances, as well as writing, stage design, theater and opera direction. For him, all materials can be transformed into art when love is present. Meese’s practice can be conceived under the guiding principle of “Gesamtkunstwerk” – total work of art [1]. His artistic approach is emotion-based, liberated from dread, self-restraint, dogma, and limitation, while others perceive it as normal, basic or simple.

In PETER PAN ALARM! KUNSTLOVE DE LARGE! („ART-„BOMBE SURPRISE““ IN SNOWLABYRINTH) MUMIN IS BACK IN TOWN! dreams, fairy tales, wonderlands, fantasy worlds, myths and antireality meet up in acryl and oil paintings. The exhibition showcases a collection of artworks featuring hermetic characters derived from art, including iconic figures like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Caligula, King Arthur, Flash Gordon, and many more. Here, the artist assumes the role of protagonist within these myths, embodying the spirit of the presented characters. Drawing inspiration from the enchanting universe of Disney and other iconic realms such as Star Trek, Space Odyssey, and Clockwork Orange, viewers are invited to explore a kaleidoscope of fantasy kingdoms. Each painting serves as a portal to a different universe, worlds without ideology, magical rooms that never get political or religious. The exhibition’s overall ambiance has a dreamlike tone moderated on timeless melodies including songs by The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, and Sisters of Mercy, transporting viewers back to the innocence of childhood.

“BABYRUMKUNSTEN!”, 2023 – Acrylic on coarse untreated cotton cloth 60.4 x 50.2 x 3.3 cm | Photographer: Roman März

According to Meese, we all must traverse the magic mirror to be able to conquer the future, as we are all integral parts of the universal collage of art. In the words of the artist, “We can only experience the future if we remain children at heart. These fantasy worlds serve as the foundation of every “Gesamtkunstwerk” —total works of art— where art reigns supreme as the ultimate expression of love, hope, and power.”

“HIER BLÖKT KEINE POLITIK, BASTA!”, 2023 – Oil and acrylic on canvas 180.5 x 140.3 x 3.3 cm | Photographer: Roman März

“DIE BÄREN SIND LOS 2 (KUNST BEFREIT ALLE(S)!)”, 2023 Acrylic and acrylic modelling paste on canvas 210.5 x 140.3 x 4 cm Photographer: Roman März MEE-M

Jonathan Meese, born in 1970 in Tokyo, lives in Berlin and Ahrensburg, Germany. He has had several major retrospective exhibitions throughout his career, including Revolution at Kestnergesellschaft (Hannover, 2003), Mama Johnny at Deichtorhallen (Hamburg, 2006), Jonathan Meese Sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Miami, 2010), Jonathan Meese. Malermeese – Meesermaler at the Museum der Moderne (Salzburg, 2013), Meese’s Odyssee at the Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich, 2018), and Dr. Zuhause: K.U.N.S.T. (Erzliebe) at the Kunsthalle St. Annen (Lübeck, 2019). The artist’s work can be found in numerous prestigious private and public collections, such as Sammlung Falckenberg, Centre Pompidou, Albertina, Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Louisiana-Museum of Modern Art, Musées de Strasbourg, K20, and several others.

[1] Gesamtkunstwerk, a German term, can be interpreted as a “total work of art” that incorporates a synthesis of different art genres into a unified and coherent whole. The concept was popularized by the composer Richard Wagner, who advocated for the “consummate artwork of the future,” where “no one rich faculty of the separate arts will remain unused in the Gesamtkunstwerk of the Future.” 


Thursday 23 May 2024 - Wednesday 10 July 2024

Opening: Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 19:00 – 21:00

The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 – 18:30 | Saturday: 12:00 – 16:00

Bernier/Eliades Gallery, 11 Eptachalkou 11851 Athens, Greece

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