JON KESSLER: Sculpture from the 80s and 90s is set for FISHER LANDAU CENTER FOR ART. The exhibit is Curated by Nicholas Arbatsky.
Please join us for the opening reception on Sunday October 17 from 2-5pm.
The exhibition will be on view October 18-January 3, featuring 12 seminal multi-media artworks which transform the Center into a "parallel universe that generates new fictions..." One of Kessler's earliest sculptures, "Iron Curtain" (1983) utilizes lights and motors to reveal the forms of plastic army men, providing a genealogical predecessor to the sprawling anti-war installations he's become known for in recent years. Other works included are S.W.A.M.P.(1985) on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, historically significant for the early use of a computerized control system to activate a translucent lawn jockey, illuminating a psychedelic brain hovering above a driftwood forest; "16 Rue du Chanoinesse" (1989), a rotating, backlit image of a spiral staircase made while he was living in Paris and "Steam in Stereo" (1990), a toy locomotive propelling a phonograph, that plays a recording of the sound of a train, chugging along the rails. "Dragonball" and "Noriko" (both 1994), are influenced by Kessler's fascination with Japanese Pop culture and manga comics as a means to highlight "the mechanisms of the spectacle". Permanently installed in the lobby of Fisher Landau Center for Art, "City" (1989) pays homage to the steel girders and curved glass of the modern metropolis, slowly rotating to the beat of a mechanized sunrise and sunset. "Monorail" (1994) offers a gravity defying hot dog cart replete with all the fixings, while "The Outsider" (1999) mystifies the viewer with the perceptual dilemma of a stuffed cockatoo, rising to bring it's gaze of the tropical rain forest into focus.
Jon Kessler received a B.F.A. from SUNY at Purchase and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He has exhibited his work widely in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He has sculptures in the Permanent Collections of many institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He has received several NEA grants, the St. Gaudens Memorial Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Foundation for the Performing Arts grant. For his solo exhibition "Global Village Idiot" at Deitch Projects in 2004, he began a new series of video sculptures, which led to his first New York museum exhibition, "The Palace at 4 A.M." at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in 2005. The show traveled to the Phoenix Kulturstiftung/Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg, the House of World Cultures in Berlin and the Louisiana Museum in Denmark. In 2008 he showed his drawings and collages at The Drawing Center in New York. In 2009 Kessler exhibited his video installation, "Kessler's Circus" at Deitch Projects and "Predators" at Pace Prints in 2010. There are three major publications on his work, Jon Kessler's Asia, Jon Kessler, and The Palace at 4 A.M. He plays guitar and harmonica with the art rock band Barbara Sukowa The X-Patsys.