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Sale: 345 / Modern Art / Post War, June 04./05. 2008  
Lot: 426  
Meese, Jonathan 
Dr. Lilithyr (General Tanz Sautanz, s.v.p.), 2005. 
Result (incl. 20% surcharge): 82,800 EUR / 108,468 $
Estimate: 55,000 EUR / 72,050 $  
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Jonathan Meese


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Jonathan Meese - Dr. Lilithyr (General Tanz Sautanz, s.v.p.)  
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Dr. Lilithyr (General Tanz Sautanz, s.v.p.). 2005.
Mixed media and collage on canvas.
Monogrammed and dated lower right, several times inscribed in the upper margin. Four times signed and dated as well as titled on the reverse. With inscription "MEE/M 927" on the stretcher. 209,7 : 140,5 cm (82,5 : 55,3 in). Jonathan Meese was born in Tokyo on 23 January 1970 to German and Welsh parents and grew up in Ahrensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, near Hamburg. Meese studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg under Franz Erhardt Walther from 1993 until 1998 but dropped out before graduating. By 1997/98 he was under contract to the distinguished Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in Berlin. In only a few years’ time, Meese produced a diverse œuvre drawing on all available media and materials and accompanied by a great deal of exhibition activity and frequent media appearances. Complex multimedia Installations that intervene in space develop from his “Meese-Kojen” [“Meese Stalls”], which are the result of avid collecting and are accompanied by Performances and readings. Fictitious film heroes, historical persons carrying negative or tragic baggage and figures from sagas are the cast here, along with self-portraits in various poses and masks as well as hand-written cryptic verbal creations. Since the turn of the millennium, Meese’s installations have been upgraded to walk-in environments and spatial stage sets, in which bronze statuary in the Art brut style and Neo-Expressionist paintings are now also present. The work Meese has been doing in recent years is the product of a great many activities in which collaborative undertakings with other artists, including Albert Oehlen and Daniel Richter, books about artists, pamphlets, illustrations and stage sets figure prominently.

For Meese, a shooting star in the international art firmament, art is something entirely autonomous, an article of faith that can only be grasped intuitively: “When I say ‘I don’t do art’, all that means is that I have no recipes for making it. I have no idea, no justification for how you’re supposed to behave, I don’t know what leads to bringing forth art. I don’t believe in creativity or imagination, at least not as guarantees for art production – that’s a mysterious process for which we haven’t got any words. I believe art is self-generating and then also decides what it is.” (Meese, quoted in: Künstler. Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, Munich 2006, p. 3).

Meese’s Werke works have been exhibited in innumerable solo shows and are represented in renowned public collections. The artist lives and works in Ahrensburg and Berlin. [NB]

PROVENIENZ: Galerie Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (with several stamps on the stretcher).
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna.
Collection Marino Golinelli, Vienna/Bologna/Milan.

In good condition.

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