Jonny Niesche is a post-minimalist artist who explores the expanded field of painting and abstraction by reformulating our understanding of the effects of light and colour on the human senses. Sharing similar concerns with Light and Space artists of postwar Europe who incorporated movement and light into the expanded possibilities of painting (like sensory phenomena, translucence, and ambience), Niesche experiments with the effects of interactivity, involving the viewer spatially and physically in the act of looking. Niesche has traced his interest in the phenomena of perception to his childhood experience of visiting department-store cosmetic counters with his mother, where boredom mingled with fascination as he gazed at the colour range of eyeshadow palettes and the infinite reflections of the store’s mirrored architecture.
Favouring the openness, clarity and seduction of post painterly abstraction, Niesche’s works combine the traditions of sculpture, digital printing and installation to recast our understanding of the effects of surface, color and architectural space. Through the use of translucent custom-dyed fabrics and mirror he examines the surfaces we call skin, fabric, canvas, wall and screen. But painting for Niesche is a challenge to our appreciation of these surface encounters and an open invitation to define new spaces for the viewer to be enveloped. An embodied spatial and physical dynamic is established between seer and seen, object and spectator, that is part of an ongoing reappraisal of the possibilities of painting, and of our perceptual relation to it.