Jonathan Meese - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 16, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Contemporary Fine Art, Berlin

  • Exhibited

    Munich, Galerie Daniel Blau, Jonathan Meese: Napoleon, 21 April - 2 June 2007 (another example exhibited)
    Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Depletion: Works from the Doron Sebbag Art Collection, ORS Ltd., March - June 2008

  • Literature

    B. Clearwater, Jonathan Meese: Sculpture, Knight Exhibition Series, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, 2010, p. 22
    Depletion: Works from the Doron Sebbag Art Collection, ORS Ltd., Exh. Cat.,Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2008, p. 88

  • Catalogue Essay

    “ Art itself is the dictatorship. Art is so strong, it is above everything. I think it will take over power, real power. The next revolution will not come from the street, but from art itself. I believe we are in a very important situation now. The only alternative is art. Art will be the power of the future, even in parliament. Not as decoration but as a principle.” - Jonathan Meese

    Ever since his first show in 1998, Jonathan Meese has been known for his loose-cannon reputation stemming directly from his self proclaimed status as a cultural exorcist and an artist-prophet. Over the last decade, his works have encompassed a number of mediums, from his impressive large scale paintings, to his life size bronze sculptures as well as his highly physical performances. While different in their execution, many of his works are characterised by an abundance of signs and symbols reflecting his wild imagination, together with a common purpose in making nonsense of historical figures and events, seeking to “make a fresh sense of these actions”. (Stuart Shave/Modern Art press release, 2009). Imposing and cathartic, the present lot is part of a series of works where Meese confronts the viewer with a rendition of the leader Napoleon. This adds to the vast personalities his oeuvre has included, from historical figures such as Hitler, to Hollywood actresses such as Scarlett Johansson. Napoleon, from 2006, exudes a powerful energy that is seducing and provoking, intriguing the viewer in the physicality of the artist’s creative process which is marked across all of the work. As explained in the artist’s words; “We have always had kings and leaders. We should give power to an abstract entity, it will change everything, because then our ego will vanish. We have too much faith in human power. There are some who believe in religious power, but that is nostalgic.” (Jonathan Meese, interview in catalogue accompanying his solo exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Conversations, Online.)




cast, patinated bronze
194.1 x 99.7 x 90 cm. (76 3/8 x 39 1/4 x 35 3/8 in.)
Incised twice 'JM '06' on right foot and above left shoulder. This work is number 2 from an edition of 3 plus 1 artist’s proof.

£70,000 - 90,000 ‡ ♠

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London 17 October 2013