Jon Kessler

b. 1957, Yonkers, New York. With his chaotic kinetic installations, Jon Kessler critiques our image-obsessed, surveillance-dominated world. His machines are at once complex and lumbering, combining mechanical know-how with kitschy materials and images. Structurally complex and narratively engaging, Jon Kessler’s multimedia sculptures often deliver an emotional punch beyond their humble means. With his distinct vocabulary, Kessler taps into our all-too-real modern-day anxieties, but at the same time, spirits us away into an exciting wonderland that is ultimately uplifting. 

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Academic Training
1980 - S.U.N.Y. at Purchase, New York, B.F.A.
1980 - Whitney Museum Independent Study Studio Program, New
York, NY

Awards and Grants
2015 - Creative Capital Artist Grant
2011 - President’s Award for Distinguished Alumni, Purchase
2001 - Foundation for the Performing Arts
1996 - Guggenheim Fellowship
1995 - St. Gaudens Memorial
1985 - National Endowment for the Arts
1983 - National Endowment for the Arts

Teaching Positions
1994 - Professor, School of the Arts, Division of Visual Arts, Columbia University, New York 1996 - Director of Sculpture  2000-2005 - Division Chair 2007-2013 - Director of Graduate Studies

Society Memberships and Appointments
1985-1989 - Board Member, White Columns
2001-2004 - Advisory Board, Momenta Art
2002-2003 - Jury for the American Academy in Berlin
2002-2004 - Board Member, Apex Art 2008 - Board Member, Artis
- SUNY Purchase Art Advisory Board 2010 - Artist’s Committee, Americans for the Arts

One Person Exhibitions, Museums and Public Spaces
1986 - Jon Kessler, (travelling exhibition) Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
     - Cincinnati Art Center, Cincinnati
1987 - Jon Kessler, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston
1990 - Jon Kessler (Collaboration with Robert Longo), Centre d'Art d'Ivry, Ivry-Sur-Seine
1991 - Jon Kessler, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
1992 - Jon Kessler, Nanba City Hall, Osaka
   - Jon Kessler, Spiral Garden, Tokyo
1993 - Jon Kessler, Kunstverein, Hamburg
1994 - Jon Kessler's Asia, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover; Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz
     - Jon Kessler, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg
     - Jon Kessler, Puerto de Santander, Santander
1996 - Jon Kessler, The Augustus Saint Gardens Memorial, Cornish
1997 - Jon Kessler, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia
2002 - Hermes, Tokyo
2003 - Hermes, Tokyo
2004 - Hermes, Forum Gallery, Tokyo
2005 - Hermes, Tokyo
     - The Palace at 4 AM, P.S. 1, New York
2006 - The Palace at 4 AM, Phoenix Kulturstiftung/Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg
2007 - The Drawing Center, New York
2008 - Reg Vardy Gallery, University of Sunderland, Sunderland
     - Louisiana Museum of Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen
2010 - Sculptures from the 80s and 90s, Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York
2013 - The Web, Swiss Institute, New York
- Museum Tinguely, Basel

One Person Exhibitions, Galleries
1983 - Artist's Space, New York
     - White Columns, New York
1984 - Galleri Bellman, New York
1985 - Luhring, Augustine & Hodes, New York
1987 - Luhring, Augustine & Hodes, New York
1988 - Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne
1989 - Multiples, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
1989 - Galerie Crousel - Robelin, Paris
     - Galerie Ursula Schurr, Stuttgart
     - Luhring Augustine Hetzler Gallery, Santa Monica
1990 - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
1991 - Galerie Metropol, Vienna
1992 - Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne
     - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
1994 - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
1999 - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
2004 - Deitch Projects, New York
2007 - Galerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf
     - Arndt and Partner, Berlin
2008 - Unlimited, Art Basel, Basel
- Dieu Donne, New York
2009 - Deitch Projects, New York
2010 - Pace Prints, New York
2011 - SEVEN, Collaboration with Mika Rottenberg, Performa 11, New York
2012 - Salon 94, New York
- 313 Art Projects, Soeul
- Miami Basel, Salon 94, Artist Booth, Miami
2015 - “Jon Kessler’s Gifts,” Salon 94, Freemans Alley, New York
2017 - Century Pictures, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions    (*Museum Exhibitions)
1983 - “Science and Prophecy,” White Columns, New York
1984 - “International Survey of Recent Painting & Sculpture,” Museum of Modern Art, New York
     - “A Decade of New Art,” Artist's Space, New York
     - “Dramatic Dimensions,” Hallwalls, Buffalo
     - “Project Room,” P.S.1 New York
1985 - “Situations,” Willard Gallery, New York
     - “1985 Whitney Biennial,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
     - “Modern Machines, Recent Kinetic Sculpture,” Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, New York
     - “Between Science and Fiction,” Biennial Internacional de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
     - “Made in India,” Museum of Modern Art, New York; Galerie Crousel-Hussenot, Paris
     - “Out of the Ooo Cloud,” Edith C. Blum Art Institute, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
1986 - “Byron - Kessler,” Galerie Barbara Farber, Amsterdam
     - “Post Pop,” Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles
     - “Lumieres: Perception-Projection,” Centre International d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, Montreal
     - “New Trends/New Technique Advances in World Sculpture,” Contemporary Sculpture Center,
      Tokyo; Contemporary Sculpture Center, Osaka; Art Hall in the Forest, Sapporo
     - “Aspects of Art,” Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
     - “Contemporary Sculpture,” Donald Young Gallery, Chicago        
     - “End Game: Reference and Simulation,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
     - “Forg, Gober, Hutte, Kessler, Kiecol, Koons, Meuser, Zobernig,” Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne
     - “Nothing,” Message to the public, 30-second computer animation, One Times Square, New York
1987 - “Investigations,” Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
     - “The New Romantic Landscape,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fairfield County, Stamford
1988 - “The Multiple Object,” Rooseum, Malmo
     - “Saint Clair Cemin, Joel Fisher, Jon Kessler, Joel Otterson,” Massimo Audiello Gallery, New York
     - “Light,” Nicola Jacobs, London
     - “Art of the 1980's: Artists from the Eli Broad Family Foundation Collection,” Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State
University, East Lansing
     - “The New Urban Landscape,” The World Financial Center, New York
     - “American Baroque,” Holly Solomon Gallery, New York
     - “NY Art Now,” the Saatchi Collection, London
1989 - “A Climate of Site,” Galerie Barbara Farber, Amsterdam              
     - “Horn of Plenty,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
     - “Science/Technology/Abstraction,” University Art Galleries, Wright State University, Dayton
     - “Architectures,” Gallery Urban, Paris
     - “Strange Attractors: Signs of Chaos,” New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
     - “Gober, Halley, Kessler, Wool; Four Artists From New York,” Kunstverein Munchen, Munich
     - “Vom Kreige,” Stadtmuseum Graz, Graz
1990 - “Reorienting: Looking East,” Third Eye Centre, Glasgow; Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London
     - “Status of Sculpture,” ELAC, Lyon; Marseille; ICA, London; Musee d'Asselt, Asselt
     - “Le Desenchantement du Monde,” Villa Arson, Nice
     - “Pulse 2,” University Art Museum, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara
     - “Improbable Machines,” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara
     - “Trains,” Michael Klein Inc., New York
1991 - “Metropolis,” Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
     - “Gulliver's Travels,” Galerie Sophia Ungers, Cologne
     - “Rope,” Fernando Alcolea, Barcelona
     - “Devices,” Josh Baer Gallery, New York
     - “Motion & Document - Sequence & Time: Eadweard Muybridge and Contemporary American Photography,” National Museum of
American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.;  Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover;
ICP, Midtown, New York, (1992); Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, (1993); Wadsworth Atheneum,
Hartford,   CT, (1993); International Museum of Photography,Rochester, (1993)
1992 - “Doubletake: Collective Memory & Current Art,” Hayward Gallery, London; Kunsthalle, Vienna, (1993)
     - Biennale of Sydney, Sydney
     - “Drawn in the Nineties,” Travelling Exhibition organized by ICI, Katonah Museum of Art,Katonah, New York; Fine Arts
Gallery, Indiana University, Bloomington; Illingworth Kerr Art Gallery, Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Canada, (1993);
Huntsville Museum of Art,Huntsville, Alabama, (1993)
     - “More Than One Photography,” Museum of Modern Art, New York
     - “Gifts & Acquisitions in Contex,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
- “1968,” Le Consortium, Dijon
1993 - “Live in Your Head,” Heligenkreuzerhof, Vienna
     - “Prospect 93,” Kunstverein Frankfurt and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
     - “Zeitsprunge: Collection Rudolf und Ute Scharpff,” Wilhelm-Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen
     - “The Young Americans,” Galerie Sophia Ungers, Cologne
     - “The Nature of the Machine,” Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago
     - “The 21st Century,” Kunsthalle Basel, Basel; Max Protech, New York
     - “SCAI The Bathhouse Opening Exhibition,” SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
     - “In Between,” The Floating Gallery, Shibuya-ku
1994 - “Don't Look Now,” Thread Waxing Space, New York
     - “Zuge Zuge - The Railway in Contemporary Art,” Stadtische Galerie, Goppingen
     - “Synesthesia: Sound and Vision in Contemporary Art,” San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio
     - “What's in Your Mind,” Tekniska & Telemuseum, Stockholm
1995 - “Micromegas,” The American Center, Paris; Israel Museum, Jerusalem
     - “Altered States: American Art in the 90s,” Forum for Contemporary Art, Saint Louis
     - “The Biennial in Nagoya: Artec '95,” Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya       
     - “It's Only Rock and Roll,” Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences, Peoria (1996);
Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, (1996); Tacoma Art Museum,(1996); Jacksonville Museum of Art, (1996); Bedford Gallery
at the Regional Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA, (1997); Phoenix Art Museum, (1997); Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and
Museum, Cleveland,(1997); Lowe Art Museum, Miami, (1998); Milwaukee Art Museum, (1998)
     - “The Lyon Biennial,” Lyon
1996 - “Everything That's Interesting Is New,” Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens
     - “Exposure,” Luhring Augustine, New York
     - “Sites of Chinatown,” Museum of Chinese in the Americas, New York
     - “The Luminous Image,” The Alternative Museum, New York
     - “In Vivo,” University Gallery, Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
     - “Art At Home, Ideal Standard Life,” Spiral Garden, Tokyo
1997 - “Family Values,” Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
1998 - “Kunst . . Arbeit,” Sudwestdeutsche Landesbank, Stuttgart
     - Group Show, Galerie Georg Kargl, Vienna
     - “Crossings,” Kunsthalle, Vienna
     - Group Show, Galleri K, Oslo
2000 - “Superpredators,” CRP Gallery, Brooklyn
     - “American Bricolage,” Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York
     - “Do You Have Time,” Liebman Magnin Gallery, New York
2003 - “The Commodification of Buddha”, Bronx Museum, New York
2004 - “Future Noir,” Gorney, Bravin Lee Gallery, New York
     - “Sexy Beasts,” Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York
     - “Yesterday Begins Tomorrow,” Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens
     - “Ambush,” Van Brunt Gallery, New York
     - “Floorplay,” The Brooklyn College Art Gallery, Brooklyn
     - “Emoticons,” Guild and Greyshkul, New York
2005 - “Overhead/Underfoot: The Topographical Perspective in Photography,” Whitney Museum of Art, New York
     - “Dreaming of a More Better Future,” Rheinberger Gallery, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland
     - “Light Art from Artificial Light,” ZKM, Karlsruhe
2006 - “Video-Rama,” Clifford Gallery, Hamilton
     - “The Expanded Eye,” Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich
     - “The Golden Hour,” Gigantic Art Space, New York
     - “Faster! Bigger! Better!,” ZKM, Karlsruhe
2007 - “New York State of Mind,” Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Queens Museum, Queens
     - “Fit to Print,” Gagosian Gallery, New York
     - “Ensemble,” ICA, Philidelphia
     - “Art Machines-Machine Art,” Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Museum Tinguely, Basel
     - “Miroir mon Beau Miroir,” Maison Guerlain, Paris
     - “Paul Thek in the Context of Today’s Contemporary Art,” ZKM, Karlsruhe
     - “Apocalypse Now, the Theater of War,” CA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco
     - “Fortunate Objects,” Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, Miami
2008 - “Evolution,” Max Lang Gallery, New York
- The Drunken Boat #2, Haus der Kulturen der Weld, Berlin
- “War is Everywhere,” Bodhi Art, Mumbai
2009 - “A New Deal, Art, and Currency,” BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn
- “Future Imaginary,” Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
- “Feedbackstage,” Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin
- “Slough,” David Nolan Gallery, New York
- “The Dark Science,” Gallery BMB, Mumbai
- “The Augmented Flaws,” Kunstagenten, Berlin
2010 - “Niet Normaal,” Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam
- “Contemplating the Void,” Guggenheim Museum, New York
- “Robot Dreams,” Museum Tinguely, Basel, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz
- “Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection,” MACRO Museum, Rome
2011 - “Mass Distractions and Cultural Decay,” Mason Gross School of Art, New Brunswick
2012 - “Astral Weeks,” Diet Gallery, Miami
2013 - “People,” Parkett Space, Zurich
- “Screens,” Murray/Guy Gallery, New York
- “Jew York,” Zauch Feuer Gallery, New York
- “The System of Objects,” Deste Foundation, Athens
- “I Think it Rains,” The Burger Collection, Hong Kong
- Bergdorf Goodman windows for Frieze, New York
2014 - “Spaced Out: Migration to the Interior,” Red Bull Studios, New York
- “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
- “Picture/Thing,” Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown
2015 - “War II,” MOSTYN, Wales
2016 - “Pure Pulp,” Contemporary Artists Working in Paper, Dieu Donne, Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton
- "Visibility,” Curated by John Miller, Campoli Presti, London
- “Manifesta 11,” Zurich
- “Seven,” Palais de Tokyo, Paris
- “Representing Rainbows,” Gerald Peters Gallery, New York
2017 - “Whitney Biennial,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
- “Midtown,” Lever House, New York
- “The Coverly Set,” Sargent’s Daughters, New York
- “20/20,” Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
- “Commissions from Performa’s Archives,” Whitechapel Gallery, London
2018 - “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today,” ICA Boston, Boston
- “L’Ennemi de mon Ennemi,” Palais de Tokyo, Paris
- “4x4,” Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

Public Commissions
"The Hall of Birds," Progressive Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio
"The Drunken Boat," Planet Thailand, Brooklyn, New York
PT212, Manhattan, New York

The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
The Brooklyn Museum, New York
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Saatchi Collection, London
Eli Broad Family Foundation, Los Angeles
First Bank Minneapolis, Minneapolis
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Rooseum, Malmo
Paine Webber Art Collection, New York
Emily Fisher Landau Center, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Aldrich Musuem, Ridgefield
Phoenix Art Mueum, Phoenix
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Chase Manhattan Art Collection, New York
Frederick Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles
The Deste Collection, Athens  
Sudwestdeutsche Landesbank, Stuttgart
Caisse des Depôts, Paris
Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
Neuberger Museum of Art, Harrison
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee
Addison Gallery of Art, Andover
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection
Tinguely Museum, Basel
Burger Collection, Hong Kong
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL
Guggenheim Museum, New York