Biography

John Isaacs first studied biology in the south of England in Exeter. He would later use the knowledge of evolution and nature he obtained there in his art. He considers it his task to connect the rational, scientific view of flora, fauna and, in particular, humans with human qualities such as emotions, humour, and intuition.

In 1988, he decided to study art and went to Cheltenham Art College in Gloucestershire for three years. He received the title of Master of Sculpture in London at the renowned Slade School of Fine Art. In 1996, he earned a scholarship in Los Angeles and from 1999 to 2000 he was a resident artist at Imperial College in London. In 2005, he was a guest lecturer at the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles, and in 2015 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe.

The art of Isaacs, who lives and creates in Berlin, has been presented in many solo exhibitions in Germany and abroad and has been regularly represented in group exhibitions in many galleries and museums, including at the beginning of his career in the 1990s in the context of the Young British Artists.

Works

Exhibitions

News

Documents

Publications

1987-88 Exeter University BSc Biology

1988-91 Cheltenham Art College BA Fine Art

1991-93 University College London Slade School of Art MA Sculpture

1996 Boise Travel Scholarship, Los Angeles, USA

1999-00 Imperial Collage London, Artist in Residence

2005 Guest lecturer at the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles, USA

lives and works in Berlin

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2024

John Isaacs. Under the Volcano, CDMX, Mexiko

2021

Today I Started Loving You Again, Galerie Michael Haas & Kunst Lager Haas, Berlin

2019

Dust, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid

This is the place, Artvera’s, Geneva

2018

Archipelago, Galleria Poggiali, Milan

2016

This Is The Place, Travesia Cuatro – Guadalajara, Guadalajara

Only Words, AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels

2015

Inconcolus Votes For Children, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid, Madrid

2014

The architecture of empathy, Galerie Haas AG, Zürich

The architecture of empathy, Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia

2013

The architecture of empathy, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid

2012

The hand that rocks the cradle, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin

2011

The closest I ever came to you, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels

2010

Tears welling up inside, Wendt+Friedman Gallery, Berlin

A perfect soul, OPA, Guadalajara, Mexico

You are innocent in your dreams, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid

2009

Let the golden age begin, Museum 52, London

2008

Cathering Dust, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid

Glass Eye…Glass Soul, Museum 52, New York

2007

You said you would always be there, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels

The supernatural world in which I am professionally involved, Invaliden 1, Berlin

A perfect soul, Museum 52, London

2006

What is it that there is something and nothing, Museum 52, Basel

2005

Are you like me full of hope and full of fear, Museum 52, London

Are you like me full of hope and full of fear, Feigen Contemporary, New York

2004

Other peoples lives, 20.21 Gallery, Essen

Is more than this more than this, de Bond, Brügge

Are we not the same you an I, Museum 52, London

If not now then when, Gallery Judin, Zürich

2003

Voices from the id, Beaconsfield, London

Dumb planets are round too, VTO Gallery, London

Dumb planets are round too, Feigen Contemporary, New York

2002

Are you still mad at me, Reykjavík Art Museum, Island

Voices from the id, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels

2000

The Turning Point, MArtLab Gallery, Imperial College Residency, London

The Diary of a Loner, 20.21 Gallery, Essen

1999

The Incomplete History of Unknown Discovery, 20.21 Gallery Essen

1998

The Diary of a Loner, Chapter Arts Center, Cardiff

1997

The Matrix of Amnesia, Imperial College, London

Group exhibitions (selection)

2023

Suppose you are not, Arter Istanbul

Black, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin

2022

A gateway to possible Worlds. Art and Science Fiction, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz

Traverser la nuit. Works from the Antoine de Galbert collection, MAAT Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon

I am Nobody. Are You Nobody Too?, Mesher, Istanbul

Beyond the Road – Seoul 2021, The Hyundai Seoul’s ALT1 Gallery, Seoul

Eyes Wide Open, Aeroplastics, Brussels

Energetic Gestures, Kunstsäle, Berlin

2021

Burning House. Selection from the Antoine de Galbert collection, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz

Interactions 4, Ornella Fieres and JOhn Isaacs, Sexauer Gallery, Berlin

Figuratively Speaking, O54, Am Tacheles, Berlin

Le Grand Tour, H2M, Espace d’Art Contemporain, Bourg-en-Bresse

Come what may, Aeroplastics, Brussels

The Porous City, Triennial Bruges

Un jour, ça sera comme quand on a déjà vécu, Galerie Steinek, Vienna

Le Grand Bazar – Choix de Jean-Hubert Martin dans la collection Antoine de Galbert, Château d’Oiron, Plaine-et-Vallées

The Taste of Art, Château du Rivau, Lémeré

2020

Sublimi Anatomie, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome

Please leave this world, Maëlle Galerie, Paris

Moving Energies – 10 years me Collectors Room, Berlin

2019

Feeling called Love, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum

Souvenirs de voyage. La collection Antoine de Galbert, Musée de Grenoble

Wundersame Welten. Von Alten Meistern bis zu zeitgenössischer Kunst, Galerie Michael Haas & Kunst Lager Haas, Berlin

Asymmetrische Demobilisierung Part II, Luis Leu, Karlsruhe

The statues also die, The Daniel Cordier collection, Les Abattoirs, Tolouse

Beyond the Road, Saatchi Gallery, London

2018

PAINTING still ALIVE… On the way to modernity, Centre of Contemporary Art, Toruń/Poland

Sticky Business – The Temptation of Sugar in Art, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Netherlands

Proof of Life, Weserburg, Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen

NGORONGORO II – Artist Weekend Berlin, Lehderstrasse 34, Berlin, Germany

Da uno a Dieci, Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia, Italy

Eat me, Kunstmuseum Trapholt, Kolding, Denmark

Il terzo giorno, curated by Didi Bozzini, Palazzo del Governatore, Parma, Italy

2017

My Abstract World, me Collectors Room, Berlin, Germany

Elastic Collisions, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria

The inner skin – Art and Shame, Museum für Kunst, Architektur, Design, Marta Herford, Germany

Meet me in Heaven, Schloss Tüssling, Germany

2016

My Abstract World – me Collectors Room Berlin, Berlin

2015

About Trees, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern

Brief History of the Future, Musée Louvre, Paris und Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

L’Hospice des Mille-Cuisses, CAN – Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

2014

Freedom not Genius, Works from Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia

Full House: 100 Artists, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

Kunst und Alchemie – Das Geheimnis der Verwandlung, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany

Le Mur, Works from the Collection of Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

2013

Babel, Botanique, Brussels, Belgium

C´est la vie – Das ganze Leben, Deutsches Hygiene Museum, Dresden

Signs of the Times, Carré Sainte-Anne, Montpellier, France

Flesh Reality, Point Zero, London

The name is Burroughs − Expanded Media, Sammlung Falckenberg,

Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Wonderful – Humboldt, Krokodil & Polke, Die Olbricht Collection,

Me Collectors Room, Berlin

Glasstress: White Light/White Heat, Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

UndeREALisme, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Perpignan, France

Kaboom!, Weserburg, Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen

2012

Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago

Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Being, All Visual Arts, London, UK

Sculptors’ Drawings and Works on Paper, Pangolin London, UK

Alice im Wunderland der Kunst, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

The Aspiration Factory, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels

Friends & Family, Kenny Schachter, Rove, London, UK

Het Gewichtige Lichaam, Museum Boerhaave, Netherlands

Documenta 13, The Worldly House, Kassel

Face Off, Gallerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin

The name is Burroughs – Expanded Media, ZKM, Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe

The End, Jacob’s Island Gallery, London, UK

Voyage Voyage, Maison de l’Amerique Latine, Paris, France

Artist´s Merchandising Art, Wonderloch Kellerland, Berlin, LA

Kunstenfestival Watou, Watou, Belgium

The End of Everything / A New Beginning, Larm Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

Till Rabus, Artiste Invité: John Isaacs, Gallery Une, Auvernier-Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Gromiam – Les 20 ans de Groland, Miam, Frankreich

Schriftuur/Scripture, De Bond, Brügge, Belgien

Babel, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Frankreich

2011

Wax – Sensation in Contemporary Sculpture, GL Strand, Kopenhagen, Denmark

Verschwende deine Jugend, Wendt + Friedmann Galerie, Berlin

Tous Cannibales!, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

La Vallée Patibulaire, kuratiert von C. Bittermann, Berlin

Human + The Future of our Species, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

WAX – Sensation in Contemporary Sculpture, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark

All Cannibals!, ME Collectors Room, Berlin

Zwei Sammler: Thomas Olbricht und Harald Falckenberg, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg

Berlin Klondyke, curated by Irmelin and Reinald Nohal, Odd Gallery, Dawson, Canada

Bulbus oculi – my precious, Kunstruimte deWILLEM3, Netherlands

The Dicks & Bonus Material, Teapot Gallery, Cologne

Sounds like Architecture, Castles of Poeke and Schuurlo, St Maria Aalter, Belgium

Portraits de Collectionneurs – Jocelyne et Fabrice Petignat, Muro, Genf, Switzerland

Dead Lines, Von der Heydt Kunsthalle, Wuppertal

HabiteR / Collection Frac Midi-Pyrénées les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France

Mémoires du futur, la collection Olbricht, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

Paradies, Wendt + Friedmann Gallery, Berlin

2010

Melodrama, MARCO, Vigo

1910 Figur 2010, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin

In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous, Tape Modern, Berlin

Rude Britannia, Tate Britain, London, UK

The weighty body, Dr. Guislain Museum, Gent, Belgium

Art Barter, HBC, Berlin

Lebenslust & Totentanz. Olbricht Collection, Kunsthalle Krems

Alchemy of Delusion, Aeroplastics, Brüssel, Belgium

Vanitas: The Transience of earthly pleasures, All Visual Arts, London, UK

berlinerzimmer #2, Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck, Österreich

Auf Leben und Tod – Der Mensch in Malerei und Fotografie, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

Public Image, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, UK

2009

SAABSDPDJIMKRLCPSSSFWMW, Autocenter, Berlin, Innsbruck

Natural Wonders, Baibakov Art Projects, Moskau, Russia

Works on paper, Museum 52, London, UK

Transzendenz Inc., Hospitalhof, Stuttgart

That’s all Folks!, Stadhallen, Brügge, Belgium

Dream Time, Les Abattoirs, Museum of Modern Art, Toulouse

Lynchmob, HBC, Berlin

Mythologies, Haunch of Venison, London, UK

Distortion, Venice Biennale, Gervasuti Foundation, Venedig, Italy

Wind in Athens/Möhren in Athen, Myllerou 27, Athen, Greece

Fool´s Food, CAN, Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Eat Me – Drink Me, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, Texas

Borderline Pleasure, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin

Luxus – Ruhe – Wollust, Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin

Projection, Venice Film Festival, Gervasuti Foundation, Venice

Transzendenz Inc., Forgotten Bar, Berlin

Tier-Werden Mensch-Werden, NGBK, Berlin

Zaunkönig, Wendt+Friedmann Gallerie, Berlin

Can birds fly?, Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt

2008

Tell me, Witzenhausen Gallery, Amsterdam

Gravity, Artium, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Deadly Serious, EXPRMNTL Galerie, Toulouse

12 – Works on paper, Gallery Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck

NéoFutur, Les Abattoirs, Museum of Modern Art, Toulouse

Evolution, Max Lang Gallery, New York

Paul Thek. Werkschau im Kontext zeitgenössischer Kunst, Collection Falckenberg, Hamburg

Holy Smoke, Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam

Deadly Serious, Exprm´ntl Gallery, Toulouse

Go for it!, Olbricht Collection (a sequel), Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen

Lustwarande 08 – Wanderland, Park de Oude Warande, Fundament Foundation, Tilburg, Netherlands

Everybody knows this is nowhere, Wendt+Friedmann Galerie, Berlin

When fears become form, CAN, Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Nature is a Workshop, Turner Contemporary, Kent

2007

Mutatis, mutandis – Collection d’Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris

Say it isn’t so, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen

Rocker’s Island. Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang, Essen

Symbolism and Contemporary Art, Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal

Wellcome Collection, The Wellcome Trust, London

Sick. Between body and mind, Dr. Guislain Museum, Ghnt, Belgium

Fearful Objects, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago

Rare Essence, Aeroplastics, Brüssel

Paul Thek. Werkschau im Kontext zeitgenössischer Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe

2006

Blessed are the Merciful, Kinz + Tillou Fine Art, New York

Assemblage III, Museum 52, London

Global Tour, W139, Amsterdam

L’infinito dentro lo sguardo, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Palazzo Forti, Verona

Absolumental, Les Abattoires, Toulouse

Mankind. Story of a wound, S.M.A.K. Museum of Modern Art, Gent

L’Homme-Paysage, Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille

In the darkest hour there may be light, Serpentine Gallery, London

2005

New Sculpture, Museum 52, London

Les Grands Spectacles, Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg

Boost in the Shell, De Bond, Brügge

FRAKTALE IV, Palast der Republik, Berlin

Oracle of Truth, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brüssel

Chronic Epoch, Beaconsfield, London

2004

Without fear or reproach, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brüssel

Blickverbindung, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg

Mike Kelley – The Uncanny, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool & Museum Moderner Kunst Ludwig, Vienna

Bad Behaviour, Arts Council Collection National touring exhibition

Pretty World, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brüssel

Extended horizons, Galleria d ´Arte Moderna Palazzo Forti, Verona

The Ten Commandments, Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden

Terror, Beaconsfield, London

L’intime, Behind closed doors, La Maison Rouge, Paris

Animals, Haunch of Venison, London

De leur temps. Collections privées Francaises, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing

Dreamscapes, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brüssel

2003

Melodrama, MARCO, Vigo

STOP!, South Bank, London

Moving Energies # 01, Museum Folkwang, Essen

The Human Zoo, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

Entranced, VTO, London

Bad Behaviour, Arts Council Collection National touring exhibition, various locations

Without fear or reproach, Witte Zaal, Gent, Belgium

Opzij van het kijken, Watou, Belgien

Female Turbulence, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brüssel

Real by Reel, Wouter van Leeuwen Gallery, Amsterdam

Einblicke in Privatsammlungen, Museum Folkwang, Essen

Rancho Notorious, Pearl, London

2002

Melodrama, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz & Palacio de los Condes de Gabia/Centro José Guerrero, Granada

Ebenbilder, Ruhrlandmuseum, Essen

Iconoclash, ZKM, Karlsruhe

Kunst nach Kunst, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen

Magic, VTO, London

Wächserne Identitäten, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin

2001

Big Blue – Century City, Tate Modern, London

Ohne Zögern – Without Hesitation – Sammlung Olbricht, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen

Interaktionen – Natur & Architektur, S.M.A.K., Stadt Borken

Minimal – Maximal, Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

The Tattoo Show, Modern Art, London

2000

Katastrophen und Desaster, Museum Folkwang, Essen

Spectacular Bodies, Hayward Gallery, London

Disasters of War, KW, Berlin

Front, Bilis, London

1999

Minimal – Maximal, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Bad Bad, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Center for Contemporary Visual Arts, Bilbao

Nerve Systems, ICA, London

Unsichere Grenzen, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel

Wohin kein Auge reicht, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg

A mountain and a valley, Cubitt Street Gallery, London

1998

Post Naturam – Nach der Natur, Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst Münster

Passage, Kunsthaus Hamburg

Host, Tramway, Glasgow

Plaats / The Kindness of Strangers, W139, Amsterdam

Post Naturam – Nach der Natur, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt

Project 8, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

Near, Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates

1997

Urbane Legenden – London, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Genetic Choices, Science Museum, London

Crash, Camden Arts Centre, London

Volume I, Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe

1996

Young British Artists VI, Saatchi Gallery, London

Road Works, Camden mix, London

1995

Lost Property, W139 Gallery, Amsterdam & Great Western Studios, London

Ideal Standard Summertime, Lisson Gallery, London

Sick, 152c Brick Lane, London

Postscript, Lisson Gallery, London

1994

Dirty Holes, Modern Art, London

2B&I, Centro Cultural Salmerón, Madrid

Something’s Wrong, Tannery Arts, London

1993

Wonderful Life, Lisson Gallery, London

Outpost, multiple sites, Edinburgh

Wish you were here, Kings Cross, London

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