Working across an expanded field of painting, sculpture and abstraction, Jonny Niesche's vividly coloured work wraps the viewer in total sensory stimulation. The seductive, iridescent surfaces of his paintings hum and shimmer with pigment, colour that seems to float slightly above the voile surface. The effect is intensified by the indistinct edges between bands of colour that surround the dark middle ground. As one tone blurs and dissolves into the next, a silky insubstantiality of pure colour and sensation emerges. Niesche has long worked with the intrinsic relationship between colour, form and light to produce formal and optically charged works that challenge our perception of space. His painting offers a transformative formal beauty that is beguiling. The glowing neon tones and soft pastels that flow from a mysterious dark centre are finished with reflective gold rims, mirroring the viewer back to his or her self in a surprising encounter with the art work.Read More
Niesche's practice draws widely for its influences, including formal elements from twentieth-century art and the shiny allure of popular culture. He has exhibited a series of articulated screens filled with tonal gradients taken from the cover David Bowie's album Aladdin Sane. The shades of Debbie Harry's 1970s make-up have also entered his work, Niesche combining the best of disco's theatrical, decadent aesthetic with a detached minimalism. These reductive forms that vibrate with the energy of vivid colour are often set against metal and mirror, offering shifting, alluring experiences of form, space, and movement. Materially fetishistic, glitter, mirror, translucent custom-dyed fabrics, and steel combine to offer a glamorous urban beauty. Recent exhibitions have seen Niesche produce art works of multiple panels that stretch up the gallery wall. Beginning intense and moving progressively through lighter tints, the multi-panelled paintings become wall-based 3-dimensional forms. Soft mint greens join other works where gradients of neon pastels—electrically charged turquoise blues fading into striking fuchsias—conjure up Miami sunsets, cocktails, and carefree tropical warmth.
In 2018 a monograph titled Jonny Niesche Cracked Actor Works 2013-2015 with texts by Martin Herbert, Kristina Marberger, and Nadim Samman was published by Verlag Für Moderne Kunst, Vienna.
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
You say sfumato, I say sfumato, Starkwhite, Auckland (2023); Haptic Sfumato, 1301PE, Los Angeles (2023); Cosmos cosmetics Vol ll, Zeller van Almsick, Vienna, AT (2020); BLUSH, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney; Art Athina Summer, Zeller Van Almsick, Athens; Floating over lovers in clouds of signs, LUNDGREN Gallery, Palme De Mallorca (2019); Throb ,Zeller Van Almsick, Vienna; Moving Picture, Station Gallery, Melbourne, Museum of Contemporary Art Commission for Vivid festival, Sydney; Commission for Vivid festival, ' Virtual Vibration' Collaboration with Mark Pritchard and Spinifex, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Auckland Art Fair with Sarah Cottier Gallery; And so I wait, with Brendan Van Hek at Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (2018); Cracked actor, Peter Von Kant, London; Splitting Image, Zeller van Almsick, Vienna; Love-light, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (2017); Picture this, STATION, Melbourne; Cosmos Cosmetics, Minerva Sydney; New Jörg, New Jörg, New Jörg Kunstverein, Wien (2016); Sundial, STATION, Melbourne; We refer to a thing but have no name for the smell, Contemporary, online (2015) Nothing goes as deep as decoration, Station Gallery, Melbourne; Vegas Can Be, Minerva, Sydney, (2015); Too Many Heroes, Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney (2014).
Selected Group Exhibitions:
Phenomena Evoking Theosis, Zeller von Almsick, Vienna, Austria (2022); Hunky Dory, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (2022); Countershading, Zeller van Almsick, Vienna (2022); Winter Darkness, 1301PE, Los Angeles (2022); Sculptur Garden 2019, Vienna; New Acquisitions from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Idle Worship Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore; In Formalism Now, Presented by S.N.O at Casula Powerhouse, Sydney; Ways of Seeing, Art Gallery of South Australia; ENTKUNSTUNG/VERKUNSTUNG, Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin (2019); Curator MCA ARTBAR, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Sydney Contemporary, with Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney; Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize National Arts School, Sydney, (2018); The Gaze of Narcissus, The Flat-Massimo Carasi, Milan; VOLTA Basel, Massimo Carasi-The Flat; Superposition of 3 types, February 2, ARTSPACE , Sydney; Nice one Picasso, February, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, (2017); Shut up and Paint, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Birmingham St Studios, Art Month, Sydney, (2016); Sharing Space, Alte Post, Postgasse 10, Wien; 2015, Its all underneath the floor, its all between the walls, Hestinger Atelier ,Vienna; Parallel Vienna, Another Destination, Gesso Artspace, Vienna; The Kaleidoscopic Turn, NGV Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; NADA New York; Right Here, Right Now, Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest, Sydney (2015); NSW Visual Arts Fellowship, ARTSPACE, Sydney; Spring 1883 Art Fair, with Minerva, Melbourne; Fauvette Laureiro Artists Travelling Scolarship, Sydney University, Sydney; Signal, The Cat St Gallery, Hong Kong; New Contemporaries, Sydney University, Sydney (2014); Fishers Ghost Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; N.S.W. Visual Arts Fellowship for Emerging Artists, ARTSPACE, Sydney (2013).
Art Gallery of South Australia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria,; M.O.N.A. Museum of New and Old Art, Hobart;ARTBANK AU and private collections internationally.
Awards and Residencies:
2017, Australia Council Grant; 2016, Australia Council Grant as SLUSH Collective; 2014, Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship, Sydney University; 2014, New Work Grant, as SLUSH collective, Australia Council. 2014, Art Start Grant, Australia Council, 2013, Firstdraft Gallery Residency, Sydney, Australia, 2011-2013, Australian Post Graduate Award, 2011, Fauvette Laurerio Travelling Exchange Scholarship, Sydney College of the Arts.
Text courtesy Starkwhite.