Jonas Burgert (b.1969, Germany) paints a stage every time that he lifts his brush: with every stroke, with every composition. His works depict the inexhaustible theatre play that Burgert considers to be human existence: man’s need to make sense of his purpose in life. It is a quest that seems inconclusive, but which opens doors to every sphere of reasoning, imagination and desire. Oversized canvases are crowded with fantastical figures of different proportions.

Read more

Jonas Burgert Portrait Blain Southern
Photo: Antoine Le Grand

GALLERY EXHIBITIONS

Blain|Southern Berlin
ZEITLAICH

ZEITLAICH

29 April – 29 July 2017

Blain|Southern London
STÜCK HIRN BLIND

STÜCK HIRN BLIND

14 October – 22 November 2014

Blain|Southern Berlin
Gift Gegen Zeit

Gift Gegen Zeit

28 April – 7 July 2012

INSTITUTIONS

MAMbo, Bologna, IT
Lotsucht / Scandagliodipendenza

Lotsucht / Scandagliodipendenza

26 January – 17 April 2017

The Museum of Modern Art Gunma, Gunma, JP
The Art Show - Art of the New Millennium in Taguchi Art Collection

The Art Show - Art of the New Millennium in Taguchi Art Collection

16 September – 12 November 2017

BIOGRAPHY

Some are gigantic, others are as small as infants. There are monkeys and zebras, skeletons and harlequins, Amazons, children, sometimes the painter himself. The supernumerary play a gruesome game: walls disintegrate and floors open where Burgert reveals heaps of bodies or glowing liquid, people wear masks and costumes, war-like paint decorates some of the faces. And what is a carcass and what is alive if often unclear. An inexplicable darkness looms everywhere amidst Burgert’s work that reminds of the play between life and death in a Freudian sense: between libido and cessation.

According to Burgert, humanity’s desire to find meaning in existence beyond physicality creates an enormous need for an overarching narrative that invests a purpose: 'In our mind, we create existences as heroes, gods or clowns. They lead unbearably loud, malicious, cynical, witty and passionate lives, in wonderfully strange or terrible places. In my art, I merely try to paint the scene of this ongoing process of debate and negotiation, with all its peculiarities.' 

However, attempts to find assured and final answers ultimately fail: in the end, there is no certainty. The darkness, the grotesque and the brutality in Burgert’s work confirm this failure. Bergung II, (Rescue II) accurately illustrates this theory: figures pull shaman-like creatures from a hole onto higher ground where they are to be sorted into shelves that Burgert explains to be 'categories' of our imagination. 'The picture is (depicting) a recovery of all our failed attempts.' Attempts to give life meaning before and beyond death. In Zweiter Tag Nichts (Second Day Nothing), a green poisonous yet seductive liquid spills out of the ground and sticks to the figures that populate the canvas. It recalls images of ecological disasters and radioactive substance while confusing the beholder: the figures greedily dig for the liquid ladling it into buckets. According to the artist, the green represents the illusions with which people poison their minds: the false hopes and lies that dictate human narrative – the failed attempts. 

References to Renaissance painting and Flemish masters like Hieronymus Bosch are apparent in Burgert’s work; Freud’s psychoanalytical theories come alive with imagery that recalls 20th century surrealism. And yet, contemporary pop culture is equally present:  from works by Mike Kelly to movies by David Lynch, comic strips and the absurd logic of science fiction: the timeless uncanny dictates Burgert’s paintings. They are a fragmentation of scenes that the viewer thinks to recognize because they tap into the unconscious by combining styles of the past with a fiction of today. Contradictions fuse and become a heavily referential spectacle – slightly absurd, like a beautiful nightmare. 

'To paint is extremely intimate,' Burgert confesses. It is as if, 'you present your soul on a tray.' It is this honesty and intimacy, which one can find in Burgert’s works, which validates his explanation that he paints the ultimate human narrative. Burgert is not afraid to render himself vulnerable, and in the end, he manages to capture humanities vulnerability as a whole: in an ever-reincarnated theatre performance of colour and form, of fantasy and dream. 'I always paint the same painting, in the end.'

Jonas Burgert graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, in 1996 and consecutively studied for a post graduate title (Meisterschueler) under Professor Dieter Hacker in Berlin. Since 1998, his work has been on view in numerous group shows around the world, including Geschichtenerzaehler at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2003), and Triumph of Painting Part VI at London’s Saatchi Gallery (2006). In 2008, Cydney Peyton curated Zweiter Tag Nichts at MCA Denver, Promenade Space. 

Since 2006 Burgert’s work has been on view in solo exhibitions around the world, including: ZEITLAICH, Blain|Southern Berlin, DE (2017); Lotsucht, MAMbo Museum, Bologna, IT (2017); Galerie Isa, Mumbai, IN; Jonas Burgert: Enigmatic Narrative, Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver, US (2008); Jonas Burgert, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, DE (2008); Jonas Burgert: Hitting every head, Haunch of Venison, London, UK (2009); Jonas Burgert: Lebendversuch, Kunsthalle Tübingen, DE (2010-2011); Jonas Burgert: Lebendversuch, Kunsthalle Krems, AT (2011); Gift gegen Zeit (Poison Against Time), Blain|Southern Berlin, DE (2012); Schutt und Futter, Hannover Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, DE (2013) and STÜCK HIRN BLIND, Blain|Southern London, UK (2014).


READ MORE DOWNLOAD ENGLISH BIOGRAPHY

CV

1969, Born in Berlin, DE
Lives and works in Berlin, DE


EDUCATION

1997
Student of the Master Class of Professor Dieter Hacker, Berlin, DE

1996
M.A., Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, DE


AWARDS

2000
Scholarship (NaFög) UdK, Berlin, DE Scholarship, travel grant for Egypt, EG

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 

2017    
Bosch and Burgert, Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, AT (forthcoming)
ZEITLAICH, Blain|Southern, Berlin, DE
Schlier, Galerie Isa, Mumbai, IN
Lotsucht, Museo D’Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo), Bologna, IT

2016
Hälfte Schläfe, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg, DE

2014
STÜCK HIRN BLIND, Blain|Southern, London, UK

2013
Sticht, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg, DE
Schutt und Futter, Hannover Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, DE

2012
Gift gegen Zeit / Poison Against Time, Blain|Southern Berlin, DE

2011
Jonas Burgert: Lebendversuch, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems an der Donau, AT

2010
Jonas Burgert: Lebendversuch, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen, DE
Jonas Burgert, Produzentengalerie Hamburg, Hamburg, DE

2009
Jonas Burgert. Hitting every Head, Haunch of Venison, London, UK

2008
Jonas Burgert: Enigmatic Narrative, Victoria H. Myhren Gallery at University of Denver, US
Zweiter Tag Nichts, MCA Denver, Promenade Space, US
Jonas Burgert, Arndt & Partner, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, DE
Kopfschluss, Stadtgalerie Schwaz, Schwaz, AT

2006
Jonas Burgert, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg, DE

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
THE ART SHOW – Art of the New Millennium in Taguchi Art Collection, The Museum of Modern Art Gunma, Gunma, JP
No Commission, Kraftwerk Rummelsberg, Berlin, DE  
Making Windows Where There Were Once Walls: An Exhibition of Robert Runtak’s international Collection, Galerie výtvarného umení v Ostrave, Ostrava, CZ

2016
Day dreaming with Stanley Kubrick, Somerset House, London, UK
I Prefer Life, Weserburg Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Bremen, DE
12 Solos, Blain|Southern Berlin, DE

2015
The Figure in Process: de Kooning to Kapoor, 1955- 2015, Pivot Art + Culture, Seattle, US
NGORONGORO – Artist Weekend, Studiobuildings, Lehderstrasse, Berlin-Weissensee, DE

2014
Dark Chambers. On Melancholia and Depression, Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent, BE
Touch, Galerie Hartwich, Berlin, DE
Out Of Our Heads, Shoreditch Town Hall, London, UK
Kolibri, Ehemaliges Ballhaus Kolibri I Gartenstrasse/Hofgebäude I D Building, Berlin, DE

2013
Viewing Room, All Visual Arts, The Crypt, London, UK

2012
Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Being, All Visual Arts, London, UK
NO. TOWN beyond the wall – berlin artists in detroit, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery at Wayne State
University, Detroit, US
ALLES WASSER, Galerie Mikael Andersen, Berlin, DE

2011
Viele Köpfe / Many Heads, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg, DE
Zwei Sammler, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
Memories of the Future - from the Olbricht Collection, La Maison Rouge, Paris, FR
Schach!!, Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr, Ruhr, DE

2010
Lebenslust & Totentanz — Olbricht Collection, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems, AT
Night of the pawn, Spinnerei Leipzig, Leipzig, DE
Daydreaming with James Lavelle, Haunch of Venison, London, UK
Passion Fruits picked from the Olbricht Collection, me Collectors Room, Berlin, DE

2008
Zweiter Tag Nichts, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Promenade Space, Denver, US
Rubben - Booked for killing a policeman, Laden fuer Nichts, Leipzig, DE

2007
The Teardrop Explodes, Stadtgalerie Schwaz, Schwaz, AT
Strange Brew, Max Lang Gallery, New York, US
Weltempfänger, Galerie der Gegenwart/Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
The Aggression of Beauty, Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin, DE
Rockers Island - Olbricht Collection, Folkwang Museum, Essen, DE
Fullhouse – Malerei aus der Sammlung Falckenberg, Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lübeck, DE
Wonderwall, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, JP

2006
The Triumph of Painting Part VI, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK 

2005
Rainbow – A Painting Show, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut, LB
FRAKTALE IV, Palast der Republik, Berlin, DE
Geschichtenerzähler, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
Ratatouille, Galerie 20.21, Essen, DE

2004
1. Berliner, Kunstsalon, Arena Berlin, DE

2003
Das mystische Paradoxon in der Bildenden Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Kunsthalle Erfurt, DE
Dis-Positiv, Staatsbank Berlin, DE

2002
Rohkunstbau, Stipendiaten, Berlin, DE
FRAKTALE III, Rohbau U Bahnhof Reichstag Berlin, DE
IX Rohkunstbau, Wasserschloß Groß Leuthen, DE
Hic et Nunc, Villa Manin, Passariano, IT

2001
FRAKTALE II, Pfefferberg Berlin, DE
Nacht der Akademie, Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, DE

2000
Fraktale Exzerpt, Sophienhöfe Berlin, DE
Kunst am Bau, Lenze Forum, Hameln, DE
FRAKTALE I, Parochialkirche Berlin, DE

1999
Junge Akademie, Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, DE
Founding of exhibition project FRAKTALE, Berlin, DE

1998
Junge Akademie, Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, DE

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2017
Roberto Grandi, Elena Bonanno di Linguaglossa, Laura Carlini Fanfogna, and David Afnam, Jonas Burgert: Lotsucht Scandagliodipendenza, MAMbo, Bologna, IT

2015
Jess Fletcher and Christine Albrecht, Jonas Burgert, Blain|Southern and Walther König, London,UK

2014
Exhibition Catalogue, Ghent, Museum Dr. Guislain, Uitgeverij Hannibal, Dark Chambers. On Melancholia and Depression
Marc Valli & Margherita Dessanay,  A Brush With The Real, Figurative Painting Today, Laurence King Publishing Ltd., London, UK

2013
Veit Görner and Dorothée Brill, Jonas Burgert: Schutt und Futter, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, DE

2012
Exhibition Catalogue, Sparkasse Essen, Jonas Burgert Tricksplitt,
Dr. Dorothee Brill and Louisa Elderton,  Exhibition Catalogue, London, Blain|Southern, Gift gegen Zeit

2010
Daniel J. Schreiber and Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Kunsthalle Krems, Kunsthalle Tűbingen, Verlag Der Buchhandlung Walther Kőnig, Cologne, Jonas Burgert. Lebendversuch

2009
Claudia Stockhausen, London, Haunch of Venison, Jonas Burgert. Hitting Every Head

2008
Jonas Burgert – GIFT Von Karin Pernegger, Wolfgang Schoppman, two monsters agency, Dusseldorf, DE
Dan Jacobs and Christoph Heinrich, Exhibition Catalogue, Denver, Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, Jonas Burgert. Enigmatic Narrative

2007
Hartwig Fischer and Ute Eskildsen, Exhibition Catalogue, Essen, Folkwang Museum, Rockers Island: Olbricht Collection

2006
Margit Brehm and Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Hamburg, Produzentengalerie, Jonas Burgert

2005
Exhibition Catalogue, Berlin, Tod, Palast der Republik Berlin, FRAKTALE IV
Exhibition Catalogue, Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Geschichtenerzähler

2004
Exhibition Catalogue, Berlin, Arena Berlin, 1.Berliner, Kunstsalon

2003
Exhibition Catalogue, Erfurt, Kunsthalle Erfurt, Das mystische Paradoxon in der Bildenden Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts,
Exhibition Catalogue, Stockholm, Biennale of Painting

2002
Exhibition Catalogue, Berlin, Rohbau U Bahnhof Reichstag Berlin, FRAKTALE III
Exhibition Catalogue,Wasserschloß Groß Leuthen, IX Rohkunstbau
Exhibition Catalogue, Villa Manin Passariano, Hic et Nunc

1999
Exhibition Catalogue, Berlin, Academy of Fine Arts, Junge Akademie

 

SELECTED ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

2017
L. Cavina, “Burgert, camla e tormento”, Corriere di Bologna, January 25
P. Naldi, “Negli abbissi di Burgert”, La Repubblica Bologna, January 25
C. Sughi, “Da Berlino il visionario Burgert invita a una traversata agli inferi, Il Resto del Carlino”,
January 25

2014
“Beyond Belief. Jonas Burgert on Myths, Human Drama and His Massive Canvases”, ZOO Magazine, November
“Stranger Than Fiction”, Vanity Fair On Art, November
“Jonas Bugert | Sturm und Drang”, State.TV, October
M. Gray, “Looking for meaning: a conversation with Jonas Burgert”, Apollo Magazine, October
“Open Files”, Elephant Magazine, October
J. De Paola, “Nature is content when we struggle. The Artist, Jonas Burgert, on Mortality, Phenomena and Applause”, Wall Street International, 13 October

2013
J.Kothe,”Jonas Burgert”, Freunde von Freunden, 31 December

2012
R. Ingeborg, “Ruhm ist nur ein Pfred ohne Reiter”, Berliner Zeitung, 7 July
Anouk Meyer, “In Der Vorholle: Jonas Burgert in der Galerie Blain Southern”, Berlin-Kultur, 4 July
A. Bogart, “Critics” Picks”, Art Forum
E. Lindnr, “Albtraum auf Leinand”,Welt Kompakt, 20 April

2011
“Jonas Burgert”, Oh! Parasite, 26 November

2008
Welt Online Damonen halten Jonas Burgerts Kopf besetzt, 30 October
ZeitmagazinLEBEN vom– Tote Harlekine 6th March 

2006
P.Kaiser, “Jonas Burgurt”, Kraftmaler – Sonntagsblick, blick.ch, 2 June
Joachim Kronsbein, “Ölofen und Steuerberater”, spiegel.de, 4 December

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Burger Collection, Hong Kong, CN
Denver Art Museum, Denver, US
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE
Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, US
Rubell Family Art Collection, Miami, US
Sammlung Olbricht, Berlin, DE
Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg, DE
Sammlung Sander, Berlin, DE
Taguchi Art Collection, JP

READ MORE DOWNLOAD CV

Blain|Southern London

4 Hanover Square
London W1S 1BP

+44 (0)20 7493 4492
info@blainsouthern.com

Blain|Southern Berlin

Potsdamer Straße 77–87
(Mercator Höfe)
10785 Berlin

+49 (0)30 6449 31510
berlin@blainsouthern.com

Social

Private section