Jon Kessler


The Artist

Jon Kessler is a mixed media artist known for kinetic sculptures that expose their mechanics to the viewer. These sculptures are often amalgams of analogical and digital technology that have political implications. He received a B.F.A. from the State University of New York at Purchase in 1980 and completed The Independent Study Studio Program at The Whitney Museum of American Art in the same year. Kessler has been a professor at the Columbia University School of the Arts since 1994. More recently, he has focused on developing immersive installation pieces. Jon Kessler began exhibiting works in the early 1980s in the form of shadow boxes attached to the wall. Objects found and manufactured, illuminated and mechanized, creating scenarios, both abstract and figurative. The artist deliberately left the sides open to expose the mechanisms: a simple shift in the position of the viewer revealed the inner workings "behind the scenes". The sculptures of the 1990s have become larger with higher production values. After September 11, the artist claims to be obsessed
from the image of what terrorists saw from the cockpit before the impact, so he decided to recreate it using a surveillance camera. Since then, his work has become more political. However, the rawness and immediacy of the current work incorporates a playfulness reminiscent of the sculptures made in the 1980s. The mechanisms are visible with little or no attempt to "finish" the pieces: once the sculptures work, they leave them in the form of a prototype with the clamps and tape needed to keep them assembled.
Since 2004, she has created life-size video installations that occupy space. These installations involve the viewers, transforming them into reconnaissance objects and guarded objects: this creates a symbiotic relationship between the camera and the viewer, who continues within it as a viewer and performer, voyeur and exhibitionist.
His interest in what happens between the viewer and the artistic object has remained consistent. Kessler's work continues to play consciously in that arena, controlling the experience of the viewer of the piece, while also offering a glimpse of the mechanism of that manipulation.
Recent solo exhibited included: Century Pictures, New York (2017); Jon Kessler's Gifts, Salon 94, Freemans Alley, New York (2015); The Web, Swiss Institute, New York (2013); Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, Beacon, New York (2012). Kessler has participated in a group shows at ICA Boston (2018); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2017); Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton (2016); Gerald Peters Gallery, New York (2016); MOSTYN, Wales (2015); Red Bull Studios, New York (2014); Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland (2013); MACRO, Rome (2011); Park Avenue Armory, New York (2008); Whitney Museum of Art, New York (2005); Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York (2004); Bronx Museum, New York (2003); CRP Gallery, Brooklyn (2000); Galleri K, Oslo (1999). Kessler's work is now in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

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25.04.2019 - 28.04.2019


11.04.2019 - 14.04.2019

Miart 2019

Miart 2019
Milano - Fieramilanocity
04.04.2019 - 07.04.2019


Mexico City
06.02.2019 - 10.02.2019

UNTITLED San Francisco, 2019

UNTITLED San Francisco, 2019
The Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street
18.01.2019 - 19.01.2019

UNTITLED Miami Beach, 2018

UNTITLED Miami Beach, 2018
Miami, USA
05.12.2018 - 09.12.2018


Piazza Carlo Goldoni 2
50123 | Firenze | Italy
T. (+39) 055 661356

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The Gallery will remain closed for set-up reasons until 29 June 2019


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