Jonathan Meese - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Private Collection, New York

  • Exhibited

    Munich, Galerie Daniel Blau, Jonathan Meese: Napoleon, 2007 (another example exhibited)

  • Catalogue Essay

    'Meese has risen to acclaim and notoriety over the last decade through his epic scale paintings, bronze sculptures and highly physical trance-like performances. Meese's very personal performance and artworks often channel and reference violent dictatorial figures, seeking to make nonsense of their atrocious histories and via this deconstruction, make fresh sense of their actions, expressing the artist's wish to "bring up everything again through dirt". Often, the manner in which this is carried out is shocking and cathartic, as imagery of Swastikas, genitalia and monstrous faces converge in vast paintings and towering bronzes, in front of which the artist signs off with a Nazi salute. In the same way, themes as wide ranging as the lives of Richard Wagner, Hitler and the Marquis de Sade jostle up with cinematic personalities such as Scarlett Johansson, Noel Coward, Marlene Dietrich and Dr. No and are amalgamated in the mythological construction of Meese's own persona within his works.
    Throughout the work of Jonathan Meese, there exists a hopeful re-ordering through chaos, where the artist proposes a very particular, personal world that dedicates itself to the "revolution of art". Meese's enthusiastic role as "Art Dictator" employs the language and intensity of despotism, while proposing something much more pure, optimistic, naive even. Through this, Meese's unaffected innocence is transformed into an insistent production.' (Stuart Shave/ Modern Art press release, 2009)  

9

Napoleon

2006
Cast, patinated bronze.
185 x 68 x 67cm. (72 3/4 x 26 3/4 x 26 1/2 in).
Incised with the artist’s initials, dated ‘JM 06’ and numbered of three on the reverse of the right foot. This work is from an edition of three plus an artist’s proof.

Estimate
£120,000 - 180,000 ‡ ♠

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009
London