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Johannes Wohnseifer, Seven Paintings and a Sculpture
Johannes Wohnseifer, Seven Paintings and a Sculpture
Johannes Wohnseifer, Polaroid-Painting, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Polaroid-Painting, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Dementia I, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Dementia II, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Dementia III, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Dementia IV, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Dementia V, 2023
Johannes Wohnseifer, Unique
Johannes Wohnseifer, Unique
Johannes Wohnseifer Lamp Sculpture 2023

Press Release

Meliksetian | Briggs is pleased to present Seven Paintings and a Sculpture, an installation of new work by Cologne-based Johannes Wohnseifer for the 5th edition of the June Art Fair, Basel.


In the new exhibition, Wohnseifer continues his critique of culture, consumerism, and capitalism, repurposing, reusing and co-opting existing images, logos, corporate branding, and design strategies to frame autobiographical, historical, political, and in this presentation, emotional experience. In these works, Wohnseifer’s aesthetic and commentary finds expression via paradoxical technological processes - advanced, innovative, obsolete, failed, or repurposed.


This new series of paintings, the Dementia-paintings, began as a further development of my Screen-Series. The work in this series had a hybrid character and combined the analog activity of painting, with digital imagery which was generated in a subtractive production process.


The screen, the phone, the computer, the television, as a “window to the world“ seems already to be a form of constriction, and cognitive draining, by having too much screen time, is a common effect. To push this notion further, I tried to translate signs and symptoms of the state of dementia, like memory loss, confusion, repeated actions, getting lost or impulsive acting, into a painterly practice. Trying to transfer these symptoms, which are disasterous and have brutal consequences for the persons concerned and their relatives, into the field of painting, transformed them for me and made them bearable, at least on a theoretical level. But it is still difficult to speak about this, and is further complicated because I never intended to use painting as a therapeutic tool. Experiencing memory loss as a human being is tragic and painful, but emptying in a painting can be quite beautiful. Accepting these contradictions actually helped a lot and provided the imputus for the new work.


For the presentation at June Art Fair in Basel, these new works will be shown together with my first Polaroid-painting of 2023, and a tondo painting of the logo of a Swiss weapons manufacturer with the name “Unique“.


Additionally, one new sculpture will be on view. A lamp made out of empty grave candles attached to a 3D-printed truncated icosahedron (a polygon with twenty faces) and hung close to a circular mirror placed on the floor, creating a loop of light. The lamp itself is held by a  customized music stand.


~ Johannes Wohnseifer, June 2023


Johannes Wohnseifer (b.1967) lives and works in Cologne and Erftstadt, Germany and is a professor of painting and sculpture at the KHM / Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. His multi-layered work including paintings, video works, photographs, sculptures and installations reference art history, design, technology and contemporary culture. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Boros Bunker / Boros Collec­tion, Berlin, Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, the Kunstverein Braunschweig, MARTa Herford, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Sammlung Olbricht / me Collectors Room. Berlin, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, Parkhaus im Malkas­tenpark, Düsseldorf, and the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne among others. Wohnseifer’s work is currently on view at the Kunsthaus NWR, Aachen and he has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal opening in August.


June is a gallery-led international art fair and exhibition platform with open format that has taken place annually since 2019. It was founded by galleries as an alternative, intergenerational, fair-week experience that welcomes a connoisseur and new audience alike. 


A brief walk from Messeplatz, June takes place in an iconic concrete bunker that has been beautifully transformed into a gallery by Pritzker Prize winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. Its modest scale and convenient location, in close proximity to Messeplatz and Art Basel, are notable attributes that make it a key destination during Basel Art Week.