Bertram Jesdinsky

01.04. – 07.08.2022
Curated by Dieter Schwarz


Bertram Jesdinsky, who was born in Bonn in 1960, founded the “Anarchistische GummiZelle” (Anarchist Padded Cell) with friends in 1980; he painted graffiti and air- sprayed pictures on the walls of derelict houses and empty billboards, made music, shot Super 8 mm films and did performances. He extended his paintings to become walk-in sculptural rooms. The small objects related to these outline the world which fascinated Jesdinsky – everyday life in the Federal Republic of his childhood years. The food processors that he collected in view of their scurrilous nature belong here too.
Animals play an important role in Jesdinsky’s paintings. They resemble cut-outs and are rendered in striking colours. The images of an optimistic future-oriented world of motorways and trams are conceived in a graphic mode, with the figures shown against a brilliantly colourful backdrop. They tell stories full of precisely observed details, with animals causing havoc in between. There are also painted carpets in which figures are transformed into ornamental patterns.
Jesdinsky soon turned to working his motifs in three dimensions as well. To this end he selected easy-to-handle corrugated cardboard, which he coated with epoxy resin. The scintillating sheen of the resin made the cardboard indistinguishable from a ceramic. The most magnificent work is the giraffe queen with a sceptre, and a car tyre at her feet replete with little houses.
Jesdinsky loved playing with materials: for the bears he made a pelt out of casts of 5 DM pieces. The surface of the horse is made of galvanized perforated sheet, the body of a piggy mascot of printed linen and the dog dancing on its front legs of aluminium foil. For the stag Jesdinsky used copper plates and patinated them using acid. The liquid dripped onto a metal plate underneath, which oxidized, thus producing surprising effects. Jesdinsky had just begun to work with this way of painting based on random effects when he took his own life in Wuppertal in 1992.

Dieter Schwarz