Patricia Low is delighted to present THE 3 MUSKETEERS (TRIO DE LARGE), a group show featuring work by Jonathan Meese, Brian Rochefort and Szabolcs Bozó. Including paintings, ceramics and furniture, the exhibition underlines Meese‘s influence on two artists from different parts of the globe and working in different mediums, but who share a strong expressive sensibility. Encapsulated by a 12-point manifesto penned by Meese, the exhibition is a dialogue between the three and an appeal to the spirit of curiosity, collaboration, and freedom in art. In addition to selected works by each artist, the trio — who have thus far only met virtually — will together create a painting in the gallery; and in a gesture of artistic collegiality, Meese has commissioned a wooden table which he will paint in situ, and on top of which Rochefort‘s ceramics will be displayed. Invoking Alexandre Dumas’s famous musketeers, Meese explains that “We are three people, three friends, and three artists who want to conquer the future, who are fighting for the same cause and who have to have our adventures in art.”
For Rochefort, as for Bozó, Meese is a foundational influence. Rochefort‘s treatment of surface, in all its intensely hued, oozing vitality, is akin to Meese‘s famously tactile, squeezed-straight-from-the-tube paintwork. Meanwhile, the faux-naive creatures found in Bozó‘s paintings — loosely, uncannily, reminiscent of Cold War-era Hungarian animation — evoke some of the playfulness, as well as the childlike and zoomorphic motifs, found in Meese‘s work. In all three artists’ practices, there is a love of shaping material with the hands and a felicity in the surprises that this process can yield — whether it’s a subconscious idea revealed in a painting, or the element of chance that comes with heating clay in a kiln.
Rochefort‘s cylindrical ceramic “paint cans”, nine of which will be on show in the gallery, are created in an energetic studio practice, their overflowing, seemingly viscous forms recalling both geological processes and the teeming creative overspill pictured in photos of Francis Bacon‘s studio. Bozó‘s brightly hued paintings of cartoonish characters are similarly textured, the result of a free-flowing studio environment.
The exhibition is also an exchange of energy — a “collage”, in Meese‘s words. The renowned German artist is a longtime friend of the gallery, with a special fondness for Gstaad and especially for the mountains. In 2010, Meese created a series of works during a residency at Patricia Low’s La Maison Jaune that both played with and subverted the rarefied Alpine setting, and which marked a unique chapter in his distinctive iconography. Among the works he is presenting in THE 3 MUSKETEERS (TRIO DE LARGE) is an acrylic on canvas of a radiant blonde with hair seemingly ablaze and labelled Heidi in a nod to the show’s Swiss location. Another painting shows an equally effulgent but more abstract figure literally flying the flag for art. Various bronze and ceramic forms are suggestive of mythical creatures caught mid-metamorphosis, underscoring the sense of perpetual, propulsive, evolution in the artist’s work. Present in all of the pieces on show are echoes of each of the artists’ myriad influences, with Meese as their unifying element, here engaged with each other in a joyful Gesamtkunstwerk.
Jonathan Meese (b. Tokyo, 1970) lives and works between Berlin and Hamburg. He studied for a period at Hamburg University of Fine Arts under Franz Erhard Walther and his extensive practice include painting, sculpture, installations and performance, as well as theatre direction and design. Meese has held numerous major international solo exhibitions, including at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; CAC Málaga; and the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, among many notable institutions, and his work is in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Sammlung Goetz, SMAK Ghent, Essl Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, among others.
Brian Rochefort (b. 1985, Lincoln, Nebraska) lives and works in Los Angeles. Since completing his BFA at Rhode Island School of Design in 2007, he has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions internationally, including three solo shows at Van Doren Waxter in New York and three with Massimo de Carlo, in Hong Kong, London and Milan, as well as virtually, in 2021, with the artist-curated project Fragile and Unregulated. Rochefort held his first solo museum exhibition in 2019 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California.
Szabolcs Bozó (b. 1992, Pécs, Hungary) is a self-taught artist who lives and works in London. He has held solo shows at Sifang Art Museum, Shanghai; Carl Kostyál, London; Almine Rech, Brussels; L21 Palma de Mallorca; Semiose Gallery, Paris, and M Woods 798, Beijing among others, and participated in residencies in Pasadena, Mallorca, and most recently, with Canyon Castator at Mohilef Studios, Los Angeles.