Nic Hess


Nic Hess is known for his stirring, dramatic decorations of walls and interior spaces, which he covers with gestural ciphers and pictures like a master graffiti artist. His repertoire of images includes familiar emblems from our consumer society, which he combines with motifs from art history and pop culture. He spins the narrative thread as he will and deliberately leaves the interpretation up to the spectator’s imagination. His ‘Monumental Tour’ carpet features five main elements. A striding elephant carries on its back a rucksack adorned with a meditating Buddha, who himself bears the head of a Native American. This strange narrative is framed by McDonald’s golden arches, whose repeated pattern plays (ironically) on the ornamental borders of antique carpets. The good-natured elephant’s rucksack – symbolising its much-lauded talent of never forgetting – keeps alive the memory of Buddha and the Indians. Yet in the same way that the pictures and associations combine, overlap and conceal one another, the myths are transfigured and the stories distorted. Out of this confusion, Nic Hess evokes various worlds and cultures that we feel we almost recognise but that fade away as we try to grasp them.

Nic Hess (born 1968 in Switzerland) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, and the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. Besides solo exhibitions in renowned institutions such as Kunsthaus Baselland, Switzerland (2003), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2004), Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico (2007), and Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009), he has participated in numerous exhibitions, for example ‘Lichtkunst aus Kunstlicht’, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2005); ‘Piktogramme – Die Einsamkeit der Zeichen’, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany (2006); ‘Minimalism and Applied’, DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin (2008); ‘Pictures about Pictures’, MUMOK (Museum Moderne Kunst, Vienna, 2010), ‘Art, Stars and Cars’, Mercedes Benz Museum, Stuttgart (2011); solo exhibitions in Berlin and Zurich (2012). Nic Hess has received numerous awards and his work is represented in various private collections and public institutions, such as Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich, Deutsche Bank Collection, The British Land Company, Dow Chemical and Kantonalbank Zurich. 


Artist: Nic Hess
Title: Monumental Tour
Material: Wool, Flax, Silk
Colors: White, Black, Red
Size: W 267 x L 400 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP