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SVA BFA Fine Arts

Mathias Kessler


Mathias Kessler is a New-York based artist who critiques and reimagines the concept of nature. Quoting from art history, philosophy and eco-political debates, Kessler re-stages representations of natural processes with humor and gravitas. Romantic painting, land art and digital renderings compete and collide in order to unhinge familiar oppositions such as nature and culture, representation and experience, and ideology and aesthetics. For instance, Arctic icebergs dramatized by cinematic lighting techniques become empty Hollywood sets. A human skull embedded with live corals flourishes as it decays. A miniature 3D print depicting Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Das Eismeer housed within a beer fridge produces an interactive social sculpture intended as a site for drinking and reflection on the architecture of food production. Kessler’s contribution to current utopian and dystopian debates is at once intelligent, grave, comic and visually stunning.

Mathias Kessler received his MFA in Art Practice from the School of Visual Arts in 2012. He has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the,  Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rosphot National Museum for Photography, Russia; GL Holtegaard Museum, Copenhagen; and Kunstraum Dornbrin, Austria. Selected exhibitions include: The Sun Placed in the Abyss, Columbus Museum of Art; Spring Show 2016, Kunsthal Charlottenburg;  Landscape in Motion, Kunsthaus Graz; [UN]NATURAL LIMITS ACFNY, Hohe Dosis Fotohof, Salzburg; The Nature of Disappearance, Marianne Boesky, New York; Hoehenrausch, OK, Linz; GO NYC, Kunsthalle Krems, and The Invention of Landscape Museo, Palaxio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. Residency; Cape Cod Modern House Trust, AIRE Everglades. His work has been featured in international publications, some of which include: New York Times, Blouin Artinfo, Bloomberg Press, Kopenhagen DK, Eikon, Kunstforum, Studio 360, ORF SAT 3, Camera Austria, Die Zeit, Forbes, Prefix Magazin, and Art Bulletin.