FESTIVAL EXHIBITION JONNY NIESCHE


With a focus on the interplay of light, color and architecture, Jonny Niesche, the festival artist of the Munich Opera Festival 2024, approaches the classicist building of the Bavarian State Opera with his painterly intervention. To coincide with the opening of this year's Munich Opera Festival, he is dressing the architecture of the National Theater in his work. Inside, there are three-dimensional, square pictures showing a pastel color spectrum and arranged geometrically on the floor of the Königssaal. The interfaces between the interior and exterior space - the windows of the King's Hall - are covered with gold foil, carrying the splendor of the King's Hall to the outside and creating a warm, shimmering, soft light inside. Recently created works are presented on the walls of the artificially lit corridors, which also house the portrait gallery of the Bavarian State Opera. On the outside, large, pastel-colored, blue-pink prints cover the Ionic columns of the National Theater's portal.

 
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke
©Dirk Tacke

Niesche's long-standing fascination with the essence of painting - the visual effect created by applying paint to flat material surfaces - is rooted in Josef Albers' color theory. In his book The Interaction of Colour (1963), the German painter distinguishes between the physical reality of a color (factual fact) and its physiological effect (actual fact). Since Albers emigrated to the United States during the Second World War, where he was able to continue his teaching career, a young generation of American Minimal artists became familiar with his approach to color. Niesche's work is deeply inspired by the legacy of American painting, which goes back to Albers' artistic approach, as well as Frank Stella's square works. Against the backdrop of painting's modernist pursuit of the medium-specificity of art, which clung to the traditional canvas as the medium of painting, the latter has increasingly lost its specific medial character since postmodernism. Seen in this light, Niesche's site-specific installation presents us with the question of what constitutes contemporary painting today on a golden platter.

 

 
Jonny Niesche, abyss (munich), 2024
Jonny Niesche, well (munich), 2024
Jonny Niesche, sky (munich), 2024

Jonny Niesche's work has long been inspired by fashion, cosmetics and music. 

To mark the Munich Opera Festival 2024, the limited edition "staring at the sky (munich)" was created with Jonny Niesche and in cooperation with the Viennese edition gallery Collectors Agenda. It draws on three of Jonny Niesche's most recent and visually strongest works, which were selected to visually accompany the Munich Opera Festival 2024. The title of the edition is derived from the leitmotif of the 2023/24 season, which goes back to a quote by the Portuguese poet and writer Fernando Pessoa, who mused on the dichotomy of the human soul when he wrote: "We are two abysses. A well that looks into the sky." Accordingly, each individual motif in the edition takes up a key word from the quote: abyss (munich), well (munich) and sky (munich).

staring at the sky (munich), 2024
Screen print, ceramic pigment fired on glass, silver paint
33 x 29,5 cm
Edition of 15 + 3 AP (per motif)
2.200 Euro, incl. 13% VAT.
MORE INFORMATION

 

© Courtesy of Jonny Niesche and Zeller van Almsick, 2023

JONNY NIESCHE

The festival artist for the 2024 Munich Opera Festival is Australian artist Jonny Niesche. Based on the visual frame of reference of the glam rock era and its cosmetics-driven counterculture, Niesche creates paintings, sculptures and installations that deal intensively with the perception of color, surface and spatiality. Jonny Niesche's works can be seen on the posters for the Munich Opera Festival 2024. Niesche is also designing the Nationaltheater's portal to the opera festival.

Photos © Courtesy of Jonny Niesche and Zeller van Almsick, 2023