Jonas Burgert (b. 1969, living and working in Berlin) is one of the main figures of the current international art scene. His works are overwhelming in format and content, full of contrasts and enigmas, timeless and symbolic. Especially for the large solo show at the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, he creates new monumental paintings and expansive sculptures. In addition, there are small-format works – mainly portraits.

Burgert’s unique paintings are representational, richly detailed and hardly surpassable in perfection. His wide palette of colours is captivating, ranging from dark and muted to bright and shining, and is applied in free gestures or exactly placed. His often stage-like scenarios and interiors oscillate between the past, the present and the future. Contemporary social references are combined with classical motifs from art history. Archaic, mythological and zeitgeisty human figures encounter each other. They populate the canvases and are often accompanied by animals. Jonas Burgert makes use of classical dramaturgical means, but his pictures elude clear interpretation and legibility. The carefully composed universe enthrals us – it alarms and disturbs, but at the same time it is beautiful and melancholy. In parts it seems threatening, apocalyptic and surreal. At its core one finds human existence with all its abysses, desires and fears.

»The fact is, we live with an existential question within us all the time: This constant up and down between hope and failure. (...) And this irritation (...) besets us as a permanent question and at the same is time very beautiful.« Jonas Burgert

In his search for a higher reality in the picture itself, Jonas Burgert’s exhibition ties in with the show Salvador Dalí and Hans Arp. The Birth of Memory on the floor above. In the year 2020 with its theme »Totally Surreal«, Burgert’s fascinating works keep up the dialogue between the two avant-garde artists Salvador Dalí and Hans Arp right up to the present day.

The exhibition catalogue (German/English) contains two specially created literary articles by the renowned authors Ralph Dutli (b. 1954, living and working in Heidelberg) and Monika Rinck (b. 1969, living and working in Berlin). Both address interdisciplinary phenomena between art and literature.