Jonathan Penca

Jonathan Penca works in diverse media such as drawing, sculpture, performance and video. He studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt with Judith Hopf and at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Julian Göthe. Penca’s interest in stage and costume design and dramaturgy resonates in his artistic practice in the negotiation of boundaries between reality and staging. Influences from and deliminations between natural science, pop culture and science fiction offer subjects to reflect on the relation between queer and fluid embodiment as subversive moment and late-capitalist individualisation: in “Insects of the year”, a series of incredibly precise gouache drawings, the artist let dressed up characters perform as colourful actors in the spotlight of an insect-catwalk; in “Solid Kats” Penca fragmented a larger-the-life, urban creature made of paper mâché and staged it menacingly in space; his sculptures are at times animated, also in collaborative settings. Penca’s manifold approaches have in common that they defer oppositions between the natural and the artificial, or the actor and the represented, until their dissolving. In his works, the artist – also through excessive scales – opens up double-edged, ambiguous spaces, within which the dilemma between in- and hyper visibility are negotiated playfully and the viewer is invited to partake.

Jonathan Penca (*1988, Augsburg) lives and works in Munich. He studied Fine Arts at the HFBK Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, with Judith Hopf (2009-2015) and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Julian Göthe (2014). Solo- and Duo Shows include CONDO London, with Judith Hopf, Deborah Schamoni at Hollybush Gardens, London, UK (2019) Solid Kats, Loggia, Munich (2018) and whole-year-fee-ding, Camera Matteotti, Vienna, AT (2016). Group shows include Drawing Now, Goethe Institut Paris, Paris, FR (upcoming), The Vapours, Kunstverein Bamberg, Bamberg (2020), Kalte Gesellschaft #2, Stadtgalerie Schwaz, AT curated by Judith Hopf and At the Cliffs of River Rhine, Oslo 10, Basel, CH, curated by Catrin Mayr and Florentine Muhry (both 2016).