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Josephine Meckseper

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Josephine Meckseper

Josephine Meckseper Josephine Meckseper Artist39s Profile The Saatchi Gallery

Lilienthal, Germany

Known for
Installation, Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Film

Similar People
Ian Breakwell, Friedrich Meckseper, Milo Moire

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Josephine Meckseper is a German-born artist based in New York City. Her large-scale installations and films have been exhibited in various international biennials and museum shows worldwide.


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Life and education

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Josephine Meckseper grew up in Worpswede, Germany, a utopian artist colony founded at the beginning of the 20th century. Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907) and the writer and poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), both lived in Worpswede for parts of their life, as did Meckseper’s maternal great-grand-uncle, Heinrich Vogeler (1872–1942). Vogeler was a diverse political artist and architect whose work is situated within the Jugendstil movement, a German offspring of Art Nouveau. Meckseper’s father is the widely known and celebrated German artist Friedrich Meckseper (born 1936).

Josephine Meckseper Josephine Meckseper Artist Andrea Rosen Gallery

Josephine Meckseper studied at Berlin University of the Arts in Germany from 1986–1990, and completed her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 1992, where she was influenced by artists Michael Asher and Charles Gaines, filmmaker Thom Andersen and literary critic and cultural theorist Sylvère Lotringer.


Josephine Meckseper Josephine Meckseper Artist Andrea Rosen Gallery

Meckseper’s time at CalArts coincided with the Gulf War and the Rodney King riots; During this politically-charged period her work reflected upon the actions of the Situationist International and the Angry Brigade.

In 1994, Meckseper founded FAT Magazine, a conceptual magazine project distributed at regular newsstands and in supermarkets, but also exhibited in galleries and museums in the form of wallpaper. It was inspired by political theorist and radical publisher Jean-Paul Marat’s newspaper, published during the French Revolution called L'Ami du peuple and the avant-garde tradition of breaking down barriers between art and life. Since 1994, Meckseper has published four issues: Good and Evil (1994); Surrender (1995/1996); on Fire (1997); and Overflow (1999).

Meckseper’s installations, sculptures, photographs, and videos use commercial forms of presentation such as vitrines, window displays, and magazines to demonstrate inextricable influences of consumer culture on society and cultural production. Meckseper melds the aesthetics of modernism with the formal language of commercial display, combining them with images and artifacts of historical and political events. Often contained within Meckseper’s signature displays are paintings that nod to 20th century European modernist art, such as Russian constructivism, as well as photographs and video taken by Meckseper at present-day protests.

Manhattan Oil Project

In 2012, Meckseper presented the public project Manhattan Oil Project, installing two monumental kinetic sculptures modeled after mid-20th century oil pumps on the corner of 46th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. These 25 feet tall sculptures were inspired by oil pumps that the artist discovered in Electra, a boarded-up town once famous for being the pump jack capital of Texas. Each sculpture was fully motorized to simulate the motions of a working oil pump. Placed in a vacant lot next to Times Square, the pump jacks recalled the ruins of ghost towns, forgotten monuments of America's decaying industrial past.

Selected Exhibitions

  • America Is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015)
  • Storylines, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015)
  • “2X (I) ST,” Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (2014)
  • Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, “Pop Departures,” October 9 – January 11, 2015
  • Taipei Biennial 2014, Taipei, Taiwan, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, September 13 – January 4, 2015
  • Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria, “The Brancusi Effect,” June 12 – December 24 (catalogue)
  • Zabludowicz Collection, London, United Kingdom, “20 Years of Collecting: Between Discovery and Invention,” 2015
  • Mark Boulos and Josephine Meckseper, The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (February 14 – March 16, 2014)
  • Josephine Meckseper, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York (July 4 – October 14, 2013)
  • Manhattan Oil Project, Art Production Fund, The Last Lot, Times Square, New York (March 5 – May 6, 2012)
  • “Josephine Meckseper,” The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY, 2012
  • 2011 Sharjah Biennial 10: Plot for a Biennial, Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates, curated by Suzanne Cotter (catalogue), 2011
  • Singular Visions, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, 2010
  • The Right to Protest, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel, 2010
  • Josephine Meckseper, Kunsthalle Münster, Münster, Germany (October 24, 2009 – January 24, 2010)
  • the Blaffer Gallery/Art Museum of the University of Houston, 2009
  • Josephine Meckseper, Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (February 21 – May 3, 2009)
  • Morality: Beautiful from Every Point of View, Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (catalogue), 2009
  • Prospect.1 New Orleans, USA, curated by Dan Cameron (catalogue), 2008
  • Business As Usual, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, USA, 2008
  • “Josephine Meckseper,” Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany, 2008
  • “Josephine Meckseper,” Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany, 2007
  • Brave New Worlds, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, curated by Doryun Chong and Yasmil Raymond (catalogue), 2007
  • Resistance Is, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, curated by Christina Kukielski, 2007
  • Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art: Footnotes about Geopolitics, Market, and Amnesia, Moscow, Russia, curated by Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Nicolas Bourriaud, Fuliya Erdemchi, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Rosa Martinez and Hans Ulrich Obrist (catalogue), 2007
  • Media Burn, Tate Modern, London, UK, curated by Emma Dexter, 2006
  • The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society, 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary
  • Art of Seville, Seville, Spain, curated by Okwui Enwezor (catalogue), 2006
  • USA Today, Works from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; traveled to the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (catalogue), 2006
  • Trial Balloons, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, MUSAC, Leon, Spain, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Agustin Perez Rubio and Octavio Zaya (catalogue), 2006
  • Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, curated by Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne (catalogue), 2006
  • Experiencing Duration, Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon 2005, Lyon, France, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud and Jérôme Sans (catalogue), 2005
  • Public collections

  • Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York
  • Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, California
  • FRAC Nord – Pas-de-Calais, Dunkerque, France
  • Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany
  • Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, Florida
  • Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
  • Filmography

  • 04.30.92, 1992, 75 minutes
  • East German Rooms with a View, 2001. 2 minutes, 49 seconds
  • Die Göttliche Linke [The Divine Left], 2003. 4 minutes, 57 seconds
  • Rest in Peace, 2004. 7 minutes, 36 seconds
  • March on Washington to End the War on Iraq, 9/24/05, 2005. 8 minutes, 35 seconds
  • Untitled (Life After Bush Conference and One Year Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq Protest, New York, 3/20/04), 2005. 7 minutes, 25 seconds
  • March for Peace, Justice and Democracy, 04/29/06, New York City, 2007. 7 minutes, 2 seconds
  • 0% Down, 2008. 6 minutes, 2 seconds
  • Mall of America, 2009. 12 minutes, 52 seconds
  • Shattered Screen, 2009. 3 minutes, 22 seconds
  • Amalgamated, 2010. 1 minute, 56 seconds
  • DDYANLALSATSY, 2010. 2 minutes, 5 seconds
  • Contaminator, 2010. 3 minutes, 11 seconds
  • Monographs and Exhibition Catalogues

  • Ammirati, Domenick, and Piper Marshall. Josephine Meckseper: 10 Minutes After. London: Timothy Taylor Gallery, 2016.
  • Frey, James. Josephine Meckseper. Paris: Gagosian Gallery, 2016.
  • NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection. Miami, FL: Rubell Family Collection, 2015.
  • Meckseper, Josephine, and Francesco Bonami. Josephine Meckseper. New York: FLAG Art Foundation, 2011.
  • Saadawi, Ghalya, ed. Sharjah Biennial 10: Plot for a Biennial. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Sharjah Art Foundation, pp. 437–442. (interview with Rachel Hooper)
  • Bonami, Francesco, and Gary Carrion-Muriyari, eds. 2010, Whitney Biennial (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY). New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 84–85.
  • Etgar, Raphie. The Right to Protest. Jerusalem: Museum on the Seam, 2010.
  • Hooper, Rachel, Sylvère Lotringer, and Heike Munder. Josephine Meckseper. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2009.
  • Bloemink, Barbara, et. al, Prospect.1 New Orleans. Brooklyn: Picturebox, 2008, pp. 238–241.
  • Weibel, Peter. Vertrautes Terrain – Aktuelle Positionen in & über Deutschland. ZKM / Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, 2008, pp. 49, 226.
  • Enwezor, Okwui, Christian Hoeller, and Marion Ackermann, eds. Josephine Meckseper. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2007.
  • Hooper, Rachel. “Satire and a Cynical Smile: Josephine Meckseper.” Brave New Worlds, edited by Doryun Chung and Yasmil Raymond, Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2007, pp. 144–149.
  • USA Today: New American Art from The Saatchi Gallery. London: Royal Academy of Arts, pp. cover, 248–263.
  • Day For Night (Whitney Biennial 2006). New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., 2006.
  • Enwezor, Okwui, ed. The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society (2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville). Seville: Fundación BIACS, 2006.
  • Lotringer, Sylvère. The Josephine Meckseper Catalogue No. 2. New York and Berlin: Sternberg Press.
  • Expérience de la durée (Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon 2005). Paris: Paris Musées, 2005.
  • The Future Has a Silver Lining: Genealogies of Glamour (Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich).
  • Kelsey, John, and Andrew Ross. The Josephine Meckseper Catalogue. New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2004.
  • Books

  • Voorhies, James. Beyond Objecthood: The Exhibition as a Critical Form since 1968. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017.
  • Allen, Gwen. The Magazine: Documents of Contemporary Art. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2016.
  • Behnke, Christoph, and Cornelia Kaastelan, Valerie Knoll, Ulf Wuggenig ed. The Simple Life. Art in the Periphery of the Center. Berlin: Sternberg, 2015.
  • Manchanda, Catharina. Pop Departures. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014, pp. 26–29, 56–57, 84–85.
  • Bourriaud, Nicolas, et al. l’ange de l’histoire. Paris: Beaux-Arts de Paris Éditions, 2014.
  • Davis, Ben. 9.5 Thesis on Art and Class. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2013, pp. 164, 212.
  • 212-229 Lookofsky, Sarah, Welchman, John C., ed. Sculpture and the Vitrine. Surrey: Ashgate Publising, Leeds: Henry Moore Institute, 2013.
  • Sakamoto, Carla. FOR WHICH IT STANDS: Americana in Contemporary Art. New York: Farameh, 2012.
  • Rancière, Jacques. A felszabadult néző. Budapest: Műcsarnok -Kunsthalle, 2011, p. 22.
  • Gray, Zoë, Miriam Kathrein, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Monika Szewczyk, Ariadne Urlus (editors), Rotterdam Dialogues: The Critics, The Curators, The Artists. Rotterdam: Post Editions and Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, pp. 216, 238, 265.
  • Pérez Rubio, Augustin, ed. Discursive Variants: MUSAC Collection III. León: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León.
  • Singer, Debra, Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture: 10 Curators, 100 Contemporary Artists, 10 Sources. London: Phaidon.
  • Dailey, Meghan, The Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture. Rizzoli, pp. 490–511.
  • Dexter, Emma, 60: Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future, edited by Lucas Dietrich. London: Thames and Hudson, pp. 314–319.
  • Jansen, Gregor and Thomas Thiel (editors), Vertrautes Terrain – Aktuelle Positionen in & über Deutschland, ZKM / Museum für Neue Kunst, Lotringer, Sylvère, Vitamin 3-D: New Perspectives in Sculpture and Installation. London: Phaidon Press, pp. 194–197.
  • Rancière, Jacques, Der emanzipierte Zuschauer, trans.
  • Richard Steurer. Vienna: Passagen Verlag, p. 37.
  • Roth, Andrew and Phil Aarons (editors), In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955, New York: PPP Editions; pp. 51–52, 160–164.
  • Hoff, James (editor), Top Ten: 1998–2008. New York: No Input Books, pp. 304.
  • Holzwarth, Hans Werner (editor), Art Now Vol. 3. Cologne: Taschen, pp. 308–311.
  • Lotringer, Sylvère, Gabriele Mackert and Mona Schieren, Quelle International. Josephine Meckseper. Bremen: GAK.
  • Rancière, Jacques, Le spectateur émancipé. Paris: La Fabrique editions, p. 32, ill.
  • Tresaco, Boyer, Best New York Art 2008. New York: Theredoom, pp. 18–19.
  • Baudrillard, Jean, and Sylvère Lotringer (introduction), Forget Foucault. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2nd Revised Edition, cover ill.
  • Bourriaud, Nicholas, et. al., Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art: Footnotes about Geopolitics, Market, and Amnesia (exhibition catalogue). Moscow: Artchronika, pp. 102–103.
  • References

    Josephine Meckseper Wikipedia

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