Jochen Niess's works - whether on paper or canvas - confront the viewer with an almost alchemical puzzle of paintings and drawings. They willingly reveal the material used that forms the basis of their magic: their construction. But the mystery of the images is neither solved nor diminished. At the same time, the artist demands the viewer to accept extreme and fundamental violations of the established rules of painterly techniques. But from these rules, a new, fascinating, coherent and highly differentiated painting emerges.

Jochen Niessen has freed himself from the strict artistic ban on drawing on a painted surface with a pen, yes, he converts the current production methods of paintings sovereignly. Instead of setting the colors over a preliminary drawing, he draws on the painted surfaces, covering parts of the picture in a kind of imitation with translucent or dense layers of graphite or signing chalk. The painterly background is already very complex. In a first, still traditionally painted layer, mostly oil paint, Niessen carries over the entire surface or partially a second layer of printing ink. The reaction of the two colors on top of each other, depending on their density, their chemical properties, and the degree of drying, determines the basis on which he then places the drawing. Even through this last layer, however, the structure and task of the underlying work remain recognizable. Thus the material dimensions of his works and the entire work process are completely transparent.
This visibility of the entire process of creation, which virtually eliminates any kind of correction, places extreme demands on the artist's concentration, especially when, like Jochen Niessen, he does not follow a predetermined mechanical concept of image composition but moves from image to image From his earlier paintings, but he also expands, verifies, or rejects them in ever-new attempts.
Niessen's intentions are shown in the composition of his paintings. The individual layers are superimposed in precise geometric surfaces. However, they never look rigid and are never placed according to a predefined pattern. Niessen observes his images at every stage, and is guided by their intermediate states and their messages during each further step. The result is leaves and canvases of a great calmness and balance which would never be achieved with a mechanically applied geometric system. Jochen Niessen's paintings - "not only look at the spaces, but also directly on the psyche of the beholder. But the spaces between the depth of the painting and the shimmering layer of the overlying drawing will remain indescribable, a mystery which can only be explored for itself in dialogue with the images themselves. Of course, the gesture plays an important role in Niessen's work, but not as a direct and unreflected expression of emotion and impulse, as in "wild" painting, but as the movement that creates the image that has obvious consequences on paper and canvas And therefore must be consulted again and again about the consequences. These gestures can be very different - from the first, perhaps large-scale and generous application of the color to the finest meditative lines of the graphite and chalk surfaces. Jochen Niessen emphasizes that he can not interrupt the latter activity. Any disturbance of the chosen rhythm would be immediately apparent in the picture, even if he would still try to work at the same pace and with the same pressure as before.
Thus, in Jochen Niessen's paintings, not only the entire depth and stratification of their material and the complete, vivid history of their genesis are present, but in each of them also the echo of the work on earlier pictures is perceptible. To this extent, each of his works is a very clear part of a continuous process as with other artists. And so it is only consistent that Niessen refuses to fix the graphite because the loosely and organically applied powder would otherwise turn into a rigid and dead mass.

In the end, the viewer is not confronted with a sealed, sealed and remote product, but experiences a provisional state of a potentially still variable object. Perhaps this is the reason why Jochen Niess's paintings seem so vivid and that they are able to speak directly to us about their material and about the gestures of their emergence

Bernd Skupin



  • Art Management Judith Betzler, Munich


  • Burda Publishing House Munich
  • Medigen Munich, GermanyI
  • Intel Munich, Germany


  • Gallery Stefan Vogt, Munich


  • Galerie Nusser & Baumgart, Munich, group exhibition: Choose your partner: An international Drawing show
  • Gallery Jahn, Landshut


  • Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Project space
  • Gallery Andreas Binder, Munich


  • justearte, group exhibition, Luisenstrasse
  • Schloßpavillion, Petersburger Hängung, group exhibition, Ismaning


  • Residenzpost, Contemporary Positions, Group Exhibition, Munich


  • Munich artist's house at Lenbachplatz, works on paper and a picture


  • Gallery Nihil Nisi, Berlin, working on paper, group exhibition
  • Gallery Nihil Nisi, Berlin, pictures, group exhibition


  • Edition Karbit, Munich


  • Edition Karbit, Munich


  • Ponyhof Artclub, Munich


  • AK 68, Wasserburg, Parallel Worlds, with G. Tuzina
  • Ponyhof Artclub, Munich ,, Duett ,, with Bernd Zimmer
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