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  • Provenance

    Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    I exhume to consume, my body is the reactor in a huge rubbish-recycling experiment of leaden world and intoxicated images. (Jonathan Meese, during a performance at the Paolo Curti Gallery, May 3rd 2000)

    As Berlin has attracted increased attention as a mecca for young artists and a site of significant production, Jonathan Meese has emerged as the scene’s reigning bad boy. Far from playing the role of the self-indulgent enfant terrible, however, Meese’s loose-cannon reputation stems from his status as a self-proclaimed cultural exorcist, an artist-prophet with little choice to express the energy and vision as a vessel for an artistic force greater than himself. Since attending the Hamburg Hochschule fur bildende Kunste Meese has exploded into public consciousness in a flurry of paintings, sculptures, installations and performances, producing terrifying visions of the future with the help of a voracious appetite for cultural iconography and a viscerally primitive style reminiscent of De Kooning and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

    Dr. Mabusen’s (2003) is a telling example of the kind of work that typifies Meese’s oeuvre. Meese’s paintings quite often juxtapose the influences of seemingly disparate sources from B-movie horror imagery to religious artwork, and Dr. Mabusen’s is no exception. A large-scale triptych, it is organized, albeit loosely, around the image of an animal’s crucifixion that occupies most of the center panel. The figure of the crucifix appears to exist in the midst of an explosion—of dirt-brown and blood-orange spirals and flairs, menacing half-figures of jumbled spikes and claws, mysterious handwritten messages—one rendered with brutal energy, the paint splashed, scrawled, smudged and sculpted into submission. There is an almost inhuman quality to the work, as if the painting of a man possessed, but for the prophet-provocateur Meese it could be no other way: "Art is its own motive force, its own drive, its on instinct, its own reality, its own politics and its own confusion. For Art, human sensibility is simply not relevant.” (Jonathan Meese, in R. Leydier’s “The Black Masses of Jonathan Meese,” ArtPress issue no. 326, September, 2006).


Dr. Mabusen's

Oil on canvas in three parts.

82 1/4 x 166 in. (209 x 421.5 cm) overall.
Signed and dated “J. Meese 2002” lower left; signed, titled and dated “J. Meese 2002 'Dr. Mabusen's’” on the reverse of each panel.This work is accompanied by a photograph signed by the artist.

£70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for £84,000

The Marino Golinelli Collection

13 October 2007, 1pm