John Isaacs’ work produces altered modes of historic perception; approaching materials from a temporary understanding, the artist transforms oldness and newness into ambiguous categories. Simultaneously, Isaacs reverts the symbologies that are used by religious institutions or popular culture for establishing parameters of value and meaning, by liberating these signs from their regular references they can be arranged as a common ground where a truly human aspect manifests itself, the disposal and tendency towards transcendence.
The initial estrangement produced by Isaacs’ works concerns a shared essence between humans that the artist decides to sublimate but also to parody, using a great diversity of mediums and materials. John Isaacs employs language and referentiality for an adverse purpose, instead of reaffirming meaning; he cancels it in order to reveal the emotional dimension of things and their relation to the human body.
John Isaacs has participated in several solo shows and group exhibitions in international museums, institutions and galleries, such as: Young British Artists VI, The Saatchi Gallery, London (1996); Spectacular Bodies, The Hayward Gallery, London (2000); Disasters of War, KW, Berlin (2000); Minimal Maximal, Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (2001); Melodrama, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Palacio de los Condes de Gabia/Centro José Guerrero, Granada (2002); and MARCO, Vigo (2003); Melodrama, MARCO, Vigo (2003); Mike Kelly’s The Uncanny, Tate Liverpool (2004); Les Grande Spectacle, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2004); In the darkest hour there may be light, The Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); Rockers Island: The Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang Essen (2007); Paul Thek in the context of contemporary art, ZKM, Karlsruhe (2007); Dream Time, Les Abattoirs, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Toulouse (2009); Freedom not Genius, Works from Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin (2012); Alice im Wunderland der Kunst, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2012); Highlights from the Collection II, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas (2012); The name is Burroughs − Expanded Media, Sammlung Falckenberg, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2013); A Brief History of the Future, Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels (2015); About Trees, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2015); Fleischeslust, Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden-Rot, Germany (2015); The Thousand-Thigh Hospice: experiments in healing, CAN, Centre d’Art de Neuchatel, Switzerland (2015); Absurd builders, handymen utopia, Abbaye Saint André, Centre d’art contemporain, Meymac, France (2015); Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Musei Vaticani, Rome (2015); INCONSOLUS votes for children, Travesía Cuatro, Madrid (2015); The 13 Corner, Travesía Cuatro Guadalajara, México (2016); among others.
John Isaacs lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
KOLDING, DENMARK | EAT ME: TRAPHOLT MUSEUM
John Isaacs will be taking part in the exhibition Eat Me in the Trapholt Museum of Kolding, Denmark. This exhibition is about how we understand ourselves and the world through food. Food is the supreme metaphor of our time. We use food to comment on practically anything: our social problems, our cultural habits, our identities, our understanding of nature… We use food to set boundaries, refine our sensibilities and project our visions of the future.
The exhibition is on view till May 2, 2018.
SCHIEDAM, NETHERLANDS | STICKY BUSINESS – THE TEMPTATION OF SUGAR IN ART: STEDELIJK MUSEUM SCHIEDAM
Food designer and guest curator Marije Vogelzang invited some twenty artists from this country and abroad, who shine a new light on the sugar, considerate the white poison, the major enemy of health. The exhibition is an artistic rethinking of this social issue.