Johannes Kersting

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*1979 Nuremberg
2001–2007 Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nuremberg, master student Prof. Hans Peter Reuter
2006–2009 Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Prof. Elger Esser und Prof. Mischa Kuball
Lives and works in Nürnberg

Grants / Scholarships

2022 Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, Neustart Kultur
2021 Artist-in-Residence, Klatovy, Czech republic
2017 Art Award, Nürnberg
2013 Portfolio-Review, Düsseldorf Photo Weekend
2012 DAAD-Stipendium für Nordamerika
2011 Katalogförderung, LfA Förderbank, München

Solo exhibitions

2021 Things To Say, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
  Mandarine 37.047, Ausstellungsraum Becker, Frankfurt am Main
2018 Sonderfarben, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2017 Reality Under Construction, Now Is Here, Bonn
2016 Deep Surface, Galerie Sima, Nürnberg
  Kunstverein Radolfzell
Watchlist I/2016, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2015 Chromophilie, Künstlerhaus Göttingen
2014 Im Dialog, Galerie Sima, Nürnberg
2010 Stadt, Land, Bild, Galerie Sima, Nürnberg
2008 Feldforschung, Zurnikon, Nürnberg

Group exhibitions

2023 Udo Albrecht und Johannes Kersting: Malerei und Skulpturen, Kunstverein Hochrhein, Bad Säckingen
  Just Painting, Projektraum studio. curated by Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
  Art Karlsruhe
ArtMuc Kunstmesse, Munich
  Art on Paper, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2022 REMINISZENZEN der Sammlung Appelt, Wenzelburg, Lauf a. d. Pegnitz
Deutsch-Polnisches Künstlersymposium, Kulturzentrum, Santok/Gorzów, Poland
Elb/Hängung #1, Villa am Elbhang, Hamburg
Accrochage, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
2021 Wirklich nah ist auch ganz fern, Kunstverein Markdorf
Space Oddity, Dorothee Liebscher & Johannes Kersting, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
Architales, Kunstkontor Nuremberg
Sweet Home, Kulturpalast Anwanden
2020 From Dawn Till Dusk, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
View #10, Bbk Nuremberg
Kunstpreis Der Nürnberg Nachrichten, Kunsthaus Nuremberg
Millerntor Gallery, Benefiz-Auktion Hamburg
Kunstanschlag, Projektbüro Kultur Nuremberg
2019 Nachts Allein Im Atelier #6, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Inception #6, My Husband Is Dead, Kunstverein Amrum
Ping-Pong, Skulpturenprojekt, Nürnberg
Ostrale 2019, Dresden
2018 Glimpsing, Auf Aeg, Nürnberg
#Summertime, Galerie Sima, Nürnberg
Raumbewältigungsstrategien, Kulturpalast Anwanden, Anwanden
Urbane Begegnungen, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
2017 Nachts Allein Im Atelier Vi, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
November, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg
Salondergegenwart, Hamburg
Nach Gestern Und Über Heute, Künstlerhaus Eckernförde
Abstractrealism, Affenfaust Galerie, Hamburg
2016 Nachts Allein Im Atelier, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Darmstädter Tage Der Fotografie, Darmstadt
2015 P/Art, Producers Artfair, Hamburg
Forum Junge Kunst, Städtische Galerie, Regensburg
2014 On The Road, Photobastei, Zürich
2013 Peter Weber Und Johannes Kersting, Galerie Hauser/Hoffmann, Schaffhausen
Weit Draussen Und Tief Drinnen, Kunst Galerie Fürth
Portfolio Review, Düsseldorfer Fototage, Düsseldorf
2012 Everyday Formalism, Deutsches Haus, New York
Elusive Space, Henn Galerie, München


The special color, actually a term from printing technology, is poetically reinterpreted by Johannes Kersting. It is a special case of the visual, an irritating ricochet that stands outside the usual system, a strange color. Kersting's concern is to break up visual routines and to confront images whose nature does not allow a clear answer to the question of whether they are depicted reality, constructed order, or fragmentary montage. Here, "perception encounters itself in a peculiar way." In a medial state of suspension, elements of photography, painting as well as object art are incorporated. The starting point of the artistic process is usually photography, whose creative potential is measured by its reality content and precisely by its colorfulness:

"What resonates is a diffuse unease. It must be said that in the photographic works of Johannes Kersting, color resonates as a moment of tension that subtly reflects our disorientation. This is precisely where a fascination lies."

For within photography, but also beyond it, colors reveal the ability to disrupt or even undermine the spatial structure and to put the photographic image's promise of reality to the test. Painting is granted more freedom in this respect, but it, too, is being tested against the regularities of our perceptual conventions. 

Taken literally, the term 'special color' also contains the 'special', which also means the 'special', the 'extraordinary'. And extraordinary is color in photography in such a conciseness and radiance as Johannes Kersting uses it; extraordinary is also the use of color in the architectural findings that Kersting processes in his compositions and that can be found everywhere: in urban space, on a rusty rod, in the surprising chiaroscuro of a weathered wall or the faded plastic of an advertising sign. These elements hold an astonishing moment of irritation, if one detaches them photographically from their real context. In Kersting's 'extended photographs' they in turn not only metaphorically but quite literally break the frame of the picture and become defectors of the image back in the physical world.

Small, everyday observations, details of unspectacular utilitarian architecture and unusual lighting situations come together to form a puzzling puzzle of observation, new pictorial inventions of virtual reality, of digital space do their part to subvert the viewer's comprehension. Ultimately, it remains to be said that "Johannes Kersting follows an exploratory will to wrest new aspects from the specific traditions of painting and photography and to transfer them into a liberated concept of the image."