Jonathan Meese 2019 Press Release
Seven years after his last exhibition Jonathan Meese returns with “NANNY GUINEVERE (DR. EXCALIBUR IS BACK)“ to Bernier/Eliades in Athens presenting his most recent paintings.
Jonathan Meese was always intrigued by myth and mythology and wove his work around the grand epic tales. The Artus legend, the Edda saga, the Odyssey, the story of Troy, Moby Dick, the Battle of Rome, the Brothers Grimm, Amaterasu and Susanoo, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, The Mists of Avalon, Karl May’s legendary stories to name the most important.
In his new exhibition at Bernier/Eliades, Meese will present mythological figures of the North, the South, the East and the West in Athens, the city of the world-renowned Acropolis. For Meese the Acropolis, former religious and political centre of antique Greece, is nowadays a synonym for pure art that survives the ideologies and real politics of its time and that remains. Although in Greece, birthplace of great epic stories and heroes Meese admires, he chose the medieval Artus legend as starting point for his exhibition. It gives a rich spectrum of personalities, characters, attitudes, as well as objects and architecture that serve as a blueprint for all great stories be it those of Greek, Roman, Japanese and other origin. With this approach, Meese tries to reveal the roots of myth; what unites myths is more important than what separates them. It is the eternal search for the arch-myth (Erz-Mythoz).
In the artists own words: “Guinevere is the lady of Camelot. Camelot is the fortress of art. Guinevere’s husband is King Artus. King Artus is the head of state. In the castle Camelot is the round table of art. Around this table the knights of evolution are sitting and celebrating their art duty. The round table is the wheel of art, love, metabolism and nature.
The wizard Merlin is the art wizard without reality. The sword Excalibur is the weapon of art, the brush of the total painter. Parsifal, Lancelot and Mordred are soldiers of art. Parsifal searches for the unholy grail. Lancelot searches Guinevere. Mordred is the golden Eldorado child searching power. Klingsor, the bad wizard and Morgana le Fay are family business. Above all is Daddy Cool: Uther Pendragon. Guinevere is the lady of dragons.“
Recent solo exhibitions and projects: 2018 “Meese’s Odyssee” at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and 2019 “Dr. Zuhause: K.U.N.S.T. (Erzliebe)” at Kunsthalle St. Annen in Lübeck,.2017 “PARSIFAL’S TRAUM: CHEFSACHE K.U.N.S.T.”, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, the opera “MONDPARSIFAL” at Wiener Festwochen and Berliner Festspiele,
Jonathan Meese lives and works in Berlin.