Combining paint and reflective materials that include glitter, mirrors, and translucent fabrics, Australian artist Jonny Niesche creates vibrantly coloured abstractions that straddle painting and sculpture. Niesche considers traditionally static art objects as ever-shifting events, engaging with form, light, and the process of perception to create works that appear to change depending on the viewer's position.Read More
Niesche received a Bachelor of Visual Arts (2007) and a Master of Fine Arts (2013) from the University of Sydney. In numerous interviews, including a conversation with Collectors Agenda, he has reflected on the impact of Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig, under whom he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2012. Zobernig's teachings—to identify the defining principles of one's work—led Niesche to focus on the performative aspect of painting.
Jonny Niesche's artworks, whether displayed on the wall or suspended from the ceiling, often feature a geometric plane with a gradient of colours. Mutual Vibration (address the body whole) (2017), for example, is a two-sided painting-sculpture with a mirror on one side and a dye-sublimation print on voile on the other. The central orange-red fades into orange and then white, ending with salmon pink around the edges. Suspended from the ceiling, the work prompts the viewer to walk around it and contemplate the shifting colours and flaws in the surface.
Jonny Niesche's influences are wide-ranging, from the work of German artist Isa Genzken, the colour-field paintings of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, and the Minimalist artworks of Donald Judd and John McCracken, to the light and colours associated with Californian and Australian landscapes. The title of Too Many Heroes—the artist's 2013 solo exhibition at Firstdraft Gallery in Sydney—references his diverse inspirations. In Poikilos at Starkwhite, Auckland, in 2020, the artist presented wall-mounted paintings and rectilinear sculptures with bold or soft pastel colour palettes that evoke Minimalist works.
Niesche's work also often cites the bold colour and aesthetics of 1970s Glam Rock. Picture This—a solo exhibition at Melbourne's Station gallery in 2016—was inspired by Debbie Harry and named after a 1978 Blondie song of the same title. In 2018, the artist presented Virtual Vibration: a monumental light projection of neon colours on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, that was accompanied by a score composed by Mark Pritchard.
Poikilos, Starkwhite, Auckland (2020); When I get very stressed, I make jam, Station Gallery 5, Melbourne (2020); Cosmos Cosmetics Vol II, Galerie Zeller van Almsick, Vienna (2020); BLUSH, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (2019); Moving Picture, Station, Melbourne (2018).
Hand-picked masterpieces, Collectors Room Hamburg, Andrea von Goettz, Hamburg (2020); CUBED, The Hole, New York (2020); Shit that I like, Nicholas Projects, Melbourne (2019); New acquisitions from the collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2019); Auckland Art Fair (2018); Sydney Contemporary (2018).
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2020
Auckland Art Fair puts the spotlight on this city as a place to see the best in contemporary art from the Pacific Rim. Dionne Christian asks some of the artists what 'place' means to them — in partic
Barry Keldoulis is a rare breed of gallerist slash collector. With more than three decades experience in contemporary art, he has remained true to his mission of closing the gap between artist-run ini
Images converge then shift, contract and explode in a field of colour. Curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor and Talia Linz, Superposition of three types highlights the continuing effectiveness of colour a