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

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
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, NY 

Society Memberships and Appointments
1985-1989 - Board Member, White Columns
2001-2004 - Advisory Board, Momenta Art
2002-       Board Member, Apex Art
2002-       Jury for the American Academy in Berlin 

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, TX
1990 - Jon Kessler (Collaboration with Robert Longo), Centre d'Art d'Ivry
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, New Hampshire
1997 - Jon Kessler, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia
2002 - Hermes, Tokyo
2003 - Hermes, Tokyo
2004 - Hermes, Forum Gallery, Tokyo
2005 - Hermes, Tokyo
     - P.S. 1, New York
2006 - The Palace at 4 AM, Phoenix Kulturstiftung/Sammlung Falckenberg
2007 - The Drawing Center,New York
2008 - Reg Vardy Gallery,University of Sunderland, UK
     - Louisiana Museum of Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen

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

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, NY
     - "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 Museumat Philip Morris
     - "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
     - "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,
     - 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
     - "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, Australia
     - "Drawn in the Nineties," traveling 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        
     - "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, Greece
     - "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
     - "Light Art from Artificial Light", ZKM, Karlsruhe
2006 - "Video-Rama", Clifford Gallery, Hamilton, NY
     - "The Expanded Eye", Kunsthaus Zurich
     - "The Golden Hour", Gigantic Art Space, NY
     - "Faster! Bigger! Better!", ZKM, Karlsruhe
2007 - "New York State of Mind", Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Queens Museum
     - "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 todayÕs 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

Public Commissions
"The Hall of Birds", Progressive Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio
"The Drunken Boat", Planet Thailand, Brooklyn, 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, Connecticut
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
Neuberger Museum of Art
Milwaukee Art Museum
Addison Gallery of Art