2001-2007 Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg, visual art / painting studies
2007 Master student, Prof. Hans-Peter Reuter
2006-2009 State University of Art and Design, Karlsruhe, media art / photography studies, Prof. Elger Esser and Prof. Mischa Kuball
2008/2009 artistic assistance, Prof. Michael Bielicky

Awards / Scholarships
2024 Artist-in-Residence, Künstlerhaus im Schloßgarten (KiS), Cuxhaven
2022 Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, Neustart Kultur

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Galerie Klatovy/Klenová (CZ)
2018 Catalogue-sponsorship by „LfA Förderbank“, Munich and zumikon kulturstiftung, Nuremberg
2017 Art Award, City of Nuremberg
2013 Portfolio-Review, Duesseldorf Photo Weekend
2012 DAAD-Scholarship for USA
2011 Catalogue-sponsorship by „LfA Förderbank“, Munich
2006/2007 Scholarship, Freistaat Bayern for University of Art and Design, Karlsruhe
2006 Academical Award, AdbK Nuremberg

Selected exhibitions
Wenn der Boden versickert…, Künstlerhaus im Schloßgarten, Cuxhaven
Backstage Reality, Coelner Zimmer, Düsseldorf
Wonderland, Galerie Kunstwerk, Landshut
Art Karlsruhe
Still Leben, Kunstkontor Nürnberg
Udo Albrecht & Johannes Kersting,
Kunstverein Hochrhein, Bad Säckingen
Haus am See,
Galerie Kunstwerk, Landshut (solo)
, JO21 by Galerie Z, Stuttgart
just painting,
Projektraum Studio, Hamburg
Art Salon, Zürich
30. Aichacher Kuntpreis, Kunstverein Aichach
In Erinnerung an Claudia Jennewein
, Kunstkontor Nürnberg
Locked out, St. Egidien Kulturkirche, Nürnberg
art Karlsruhe (Galerie Robert Drees)
Art on paper, Amsterdam (Galerie Robert Drees)

REMINISZENZEN der Sammlung Appelt, Wenzelburg, Lauf a. d. Pegnitz
Elb/Hängung #2 [Villa at the Elbhang], Hamburg
Deutsch-Polnisches Künstlersymposium, Kulturzentrum, Santok/Gorzów (PL)
Elb/Hängung [Villa Elbchaussee], Hamburg
Accrochage, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover

Wirklich nah ist auch ganz fern, Kunstverein Markdorf
Things to say, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg (solo)
space oddity, Dorothee Liebscher & Johannes Kersting, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
Mandarine 37.047, Ausstellungsraum Becker, Frankfurt/Main (solo)
Architales, Kunstkontor Nürnberg
Sweet Home, Kulturpalast Anwanden
from dawn till dusk, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
View #10
, BBK Nuremberg
Kunstpreis der Nürnberg Nachrichten, Kunsthaus Nuremberg
Millerntor Gallery, Benefiz-Auktion Hamburg

Kunstanschlag, Projektbüro Kultur Nuremberg
Nachts allein im Atelier VI, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg
, sculpture projects, Nuremberg
Ostrale, Biennial for contemporary Art, Dresden
Inception #6, My Husband is Dead, Kunstverein Amrum
Glimpsing, Auf AEG, Nuremberg
Sonderfarben, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg (solo)
#summertime, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg
Raumbewältigungsstrategien, Kulturpalast Anwanden
Urbane Begegnungen, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
Nachts allein im Atelier III, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg
, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg

Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg
Salon der Gegenwart, Hamburg
nach gestern und über heute, Künstlerhaus Eckernförde
AbstractRealism, Affenfaust Galerie, Hamburg
Reality under construction, now is here, Bonn (solo)
Affordable Art Fair, Brussels (BE)
Nachts allein im Atelier III, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg
Kunstbörse, Gummersbach
deep surface, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg (solo)
Artmuc, Munich
Expression und Konstruktion, Kunstverein Radolfzell (solo)
Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie
Watchlist 1/16, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg (solo)
Forum Junge Kunst, Pilsen (CZ)
Forum Junge Kunst, CeBB Schönsee, Städtische Galerie Regensburg
p/art, producers art fair, Hamburg
NN Kunstpreis, Kunsthaus Nuremberg / Prague (CZ)
Chromophilie, Künstlerhaus Göttingen (solo)
Huntenkunst, Ulft (NL)
On the Road, Photobastei Zürich (CH)

im Dialog, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg (solo)
meet! 2014, Städtische Galerie Kubus, Hannover
Galerie Hauser-Hofmann, Schaffhausen (CH; solo)

weit draußen und tief drinnen. Bilder der Nacht, kunst galerie fürth
Roundtable Exhibition, National Arts Club, New York (USA)
Secret Window, Frankfurt/Main
Zollart, Altes Zollamt, Heidelberg
Cutting Edge, Frappant e.V., Hamburg

Everyday Formalism, Deutsches Haus, New York (USA)
Elusive Space, Henn Galerie, Munich
25 Sima Galerie, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg

Reign of Art II, Frankfurt/Main
Reign of Art, Berlin
Legal U-Turn, Plattform 3/3, Friedrichshafen (solo)
Stadt Land Bild, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg (solo)

Johannes Kersting, Galerie Hauser-Hofmann, Thayngen, (CH; solo)
Tago Mago, Galería Fúcares, Almagro (ES)

I‘ll keep this secret inside, Canon Plex Gallery, Seoul (KR)
six views on photography, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (NL)
Alpineum minimale, Produzentengalerie Luzern (CH)
Contemporary Art Ruhr Forum 08, Kokerei, Essen

Feldforschung, Zumikon, Nuremberg (solo)
For Attention, Galerie Sima, Nuremberg

Anonyme Zeichner No. 6, Blütenweiß e.V., Berlin
1A18, Lothringer 13, Munich
How to look at Venice, Galleria Contemporaneo, Mestre (IT)
Start Point 2007, Galerie Klatovy (CZ)
Der große Saloon, Saloon Galerie, Karlsruhe

Catalogues / Publications

Digustare Art, 2003 (K)
How to look at Venice, Galleria Contemporaneo, Mestre, 2007 (K)
1234567, HfG Karlsruhe, 2007 (K)
anonyme Zeichner No. 6, limited edition, Blütenweiß e.V., Berlin, 2007
Start Point 2007, Galerie Klatovy/Klenová, Klatovy, 2007 (K)
.temp, HfG Karlsruhe, 2008 (K)
Tago Mago, Galería Fúcares, Almagro/Madrid, 2009 (K)
Chronik, MK/Fotografie, HfG Karlsruhe, 2009
Die unendliche Schleife, Zumikon / Institut für moderne Kunst, Nuremberg, 2009
Johannes Kersting: Fotografie und Malerei, Galerie Hauser/Hofmann, Thayngen, 2010 (K)
Carlo Mollino, in: Weltkunst Living, München, 2011
Frame #4: Jahrbuch der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie, Steidl-Verlag, Göttingen, 2012
weit draußen und tief drinnen. Bilder der Nacht, kunst galerie fürth, 2013 (K)
Chromophilie, abele-kersting-publications, Nuremberg, 2015
Daily Drawings, abele-kersting-publications, Nuremberg, 2015
Forum Junge Kunst Bayern – Tschechien 2015, CeBB, Schönsee, 2015 (K)
Kunstpreis der Nürnberger Nachrichten, Nuremberg, 2015 (K)
p/art – producers artfair, Hamburg, 2015 (K)
Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie. Projektion, fotografische Behauptungen, Darmstadt, 2016 (K)
Kunstsequenzen, Künstlerhaus Göttingen, 2017 (K)
Sonderfarben, abele-kersting publications, Nuremberg, 2018
Backstage Reality, abele-kersting publications, Nuremberg, 2022

Backstage realities

In his paintings, photographs, and installation works, Johannes Kersting explores the psychological and cultural implications of images we create of places and landscapes. The tension between reality and imagination, their interplay in the image are the focus of his interest.
Kersting analyzes stagings and constructions of classical painting, cinema and video games in order to reveal narrative and effect mechanisms of popular image worlds.
In analyzing these visual worlds, Kersting traces above all our social understanding of the landscape. This highly symbolic projection surface can be understood as mere fiction, as an environment to be exploited, as a threatening elemental force, or even as a quasi-utopian place of symbiotic coexistence between man and nature. In the depiction of certain places, our attitude towards the world, our narrative of a modern living space, always becomes palpable.
Kersting uses means of photography, AI-supported imaging, as well as classical digital and analog tools to extract specific formulations from the collective pictorial memory and translate them into paintings. Inspired by the photographic tradition of New Topographics, he often works serially in his painting and is interested in the contrast between nature and man-made constructions, the experience of spatial structures altered by human hands in the image. Visualizations of pathos, beauty, and sublimity are not taboo zones for Kersting in this process, but welcome qualities of image-making that reveal the levels of meaning of the visibility of landscape and its modes of observation.

Johannes Kersting, 2023

Suspicious Color

A Reflection on the Photographic Works of Johannes Kersting

„Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.”
Paul Cezanne

In the photographic artworks of Johannes Kersting, the viewer’s perception is thrust back upon itself in a peculiar, unexpected way. And yet, the process of becoming aware of one’s own perception is markedly unspectacular. The discerning eye swiftly registers that no particular work exhausts itself in the sense that a disentanglement game or even a punch line does. References to motifs in the painting tradition, too, such as to Piet Mondrian and Frank Stella, rise to the surface just as distinctly and openly as the artistic impulses of conceptual documentary photography, which, like the New Topographics, explored its motifs in the peripheral regions of urban industrial areas. Yet here too, the work of recognition is exhausted neither by the play of references nor in the search for realness in its colors and forms. The photographic images hide nothing, silence nothing, and yet radiate a strange vacuity. It is a vacuity that has to do with one’s own way of seeing.
One might well ask where the emptiness evoked by these oddly insistent artifacts comes from. What are they seeking, in fact, which visual or aesthetic discourses are carried forth? Biographical details may provide some clue. Johannes Kersting completed his art studies under Hans-Peter Reuter, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremburg, and under Elger Esser at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design; two protagonists of contemporary art, who in their respective media each stand for an expansionist impulse towards the visual. Which leads us to suspect that Johannes Kersting, too, is following an explorative impulse to wrest new aspects from the specific inheritances of painting and photography and transfer them into a liberated visual concept.This objective is already articulated in striking fashion at the terminus of “Chromophilie”, the title of the artist’s first catalogue published in 2015.
Even if it sounds surprising, this love of color is everything but innocuous. While painting famously knew long before modernity how to promote and deploy the application of color as a central stylistic means, its application in the medium of photography remained curiously suspect.1 Even at the close of the 1960s, Walker Evans, the U.S. American doyen of documentary photography, lent the corpus of color photography a vulgar stigma, before a younger generation hazarded a tentative emancipation process under the slogan of New Color Photography.2 Inside the developments specific to each media, a discursive gap likewise lingered on through the decades. Protagonists of this second group of artist color photographers, such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, are only just finding a fitting, resonant space in the art world today. A theory of color in photography is still outstanding, as is a cultural-historical perspective.
Against the precarious background of the photographic medium, which can only be hinted at here, the photographic artwork of Johannes Kersting consciously unfolds in opposition to the “chromophobia” that formerly dominated fine art debates. The accusation is as old as it is well-known, so that it has long since faded into the collective subconscious. “The passionate colorist discovers the shape of his color. None of which is still true.With the colorist, everything is subordinate to the magnificence of form,” as Charles Blancs wrote in his Grammaire des arts du dessin as early as 1867.3 The imagery of Johannes Kersting is emphatic proof of how deeply skepticism around the purported lack of substance at the essence of color is still inscribed in the collective brain.
To wit, the photographer takes the treatment of subject found in the documented objets trouvés, that show monochromatic color offensives from painted (sic!) industrial architecture,and turns it around on itself in an occasionally virtuoso way. The louder the color value, the more explicit the reference to the oeuvre of Color Field painting, and the greater the suspicion that everything is subordinate to a “magnificence of form” in Blancs’ sense, the more the receptive mechanism is led into a void. The discerning eye tacks back and forth between categories, finding no purchase. Is it a treatment of a photograph as a painting? We do not know. It is no help to speculate about a protagonist of the painted abstraction either.
What lingers on is a sense of diffuse discomfort. Its effect is to attest that color resonates as a moment of tension in Johannes Kersting’s photographic oeuvre, one that reflects our disorientation in a subtle way. It is precisely herein that fascination lies.

Dr. Christoph Schaden, 2018

1 Cp. for this most recently Margarita Tupitsyn, Colorless Fields: Notes on the Paths of Modern Photography, in:
Mitra abbaspour, Lee Ann Dafner, Maria Morris Hamburg (Ed.), Object: Photo. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909−1949. An Online Project of The Museum of Modern Art,NewYork 2014. htttp://www.moma. org/interactives/ objectphoto/assets/ essays/Tupitsyn.pdf.
2 Widely ignored is the fact that Evans revised his judgment shor tly before his death. “The Thing Itself is Such a Secret and so Unapproachable”, (Interview with Walker Evans),in: Image, 17, 4, 1974, p. 18.
3 Quoted from David Batchelor, Chromophobie. Angst vor der Farbe [Chromophobia: Fear of Color], Vienna 2002, p. 23.