about biography

John ISAACS (1968) lives and works in Berlin (DE)

British artist John Isaacs cares for the anonymity, diversity and need to remove boundaries in his working practice, creating the possibility of intuitively asking "What is necessary as opposed to what is simply decoration". His work consists of many different media approaches from drawing, painting, photography to predominantly fullsize installations and sculptures. He is wellknown for his lifesize wax sculptures of both human and animal and started recently to explore the possibility of Carrara marble. His work is exhibited extensively in esteemed public and private European institutions such as Tate Britain & Liverpool, The Serpentine, Saatchi and Hayward galleries in London , ME collectors room in Berlin, Les Abattoirs in Toulouse, La Maison Rouge in Paris as well as in various venues in America and Asia.

The work of John Isaacs has been collected by some of the most cutting-edge and renown private collections worldwide (Olbricht , Murderme/Damien Hirst, De Galbert, Speyer, Berri , Saatchi, Kim/Arario, etc...)

solo exhibitions


* Only Words, Solo Exhibition, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels (BE)

* This is the Place, Solo Exhibition, Travesia Cuatro, Guadalajara (MX)


* Inconsolus, Votes for children, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid (ES)


* The architecture of empathy, Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia (IT)

* The architecture of empathy, Galerie Haas, Zürich (CH)


* The hand that rocks the cradle, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin (DE)

* The architecture of empathy, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid (ES)


* The closest I ever came to you, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)


* ears welling up inside, Wendt + Friedman Gallery, Berlin (DE

* A perfect soul, OPA, Guadalajara (MX)

* You are innocent in your dreams, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid (ES)


* Let the golden age begin, Museum 52, London (UK)


* Gathering Dust, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid (ES)

* Glass Eye ... Glass Soul, Museum 52, New York (USA)


* You said you would always be there, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* The supernatural world in which I am professionally involved, Invaliden 1, Berlin (DE)

* A perfect soul, Museum 52, London (UK)


* What is it that there is something and nothing, Museum 52, Basel (CH)


* Are you like me full of hope and full of fear, Museum 52, London (UK)

* Are you like me full of hope and full of fear, Feigen Contemporary, New York (USA)


* Are we not the same you and I, Museum 52, London (UK)

* If not now then when, Gallery Judin, Zurich (CH)

* Other peoples lives, 20.21 Gallery, Essen (DE)

* Is more than this more than this, De Bond, Bruges (BE)


* Voices from the id, Beaconsfield, London (UK)

*  Dumb planets are round too, VTO Gallery, London (UK)

* Dumb planets are round too, Feigen Contemporary, New York (USA)


* Are you still mad at me, Reykjavík Art Museum (IC)

* Voices from the id, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)


* 2000 The Turning Point, MArtLab Gallery, Imperial College Residency, London (UK)
The Diary of a Loner, 20.21 Gallery, Essen (DE)

* 1999 The Incomplete History of Unknown Discovery, 20.21 Gallery Essen, (DE)

* 1998 The Diary of a Loner, Chapter Arts Center, Cardiff (UK)

* 1997 The Matrix of Amnesia, Imperial College, London (UK)

group exhibitions


* Daydreaming With...Stanley Kubrick, Somerset House, London (UK)

* The De Lirio Curiosity Shop Vol. 1, Galerie Braubachfive, Frankfurt am Main (DE)

* Weird and Wonderful, From the Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang, Essen (DE)

* Forever, Bubox, Kortrijk (BE)

* 2050. A Brief History of the Future, Palazzo Reale, Milan (IT)

* The Difference between Sunrise and Sunset, Schloss Tüssling (DE)

* Private Exposure, me Collectors Room, Berlin (DE)

* Divine Decadence, Kasteel van Gaasbeek (BE)


* Salviamo la pelle, Galleria Claudio Poleschi Arte Contemporanea, Lucca (IT)

* Sueurs Froides, ENAC - Leonard de Vinci Cultural Centre, Toulouse (FR)

* Modell Mittelholzer – Die Afrikaflüge als Anlass, Kulturraum am Klosterhof, St. Gallen (CH)

* NGORONGORO – Artist Weekend Berlin, Lehderstrasse 34, Berlin (DE)

* Humble Me, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* Press Art, Galerie Pascal Polar, Brussels (BE)

* But do we know exactly where it breaks? Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve Paris, Loft 19, Paris (FR)

* Playing Pool with a Rope, Metropol Park, Berlin (DE)

* Kunstenfestival Watou 2015, Watou (BE)

* Arcadia Unbound, Funkhaus Berlin (DE)

* Tous pour Tous, Centre culturel Les Chiroux, Liège (BE)

* Hospice Thousand Thighs, CAN, Art Centre Neuchatel (CH)

* Falling Fictions, me Collectors Room, Berlin (DE)

* Imago Mundi - Map of the new Art, Benetton Collection, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (IT)

* Absurd builders, handymen utopia, Abbaye Saint André, Centre d'art contemporain, Meymac (FR)

* Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Musei Vaticani, Rome (IT)

* About trees, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (CH)

* Dark Ages, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* 2050. A Brief History of the Future, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (BE)

* Fleischeslust, Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden-Rot (DE)


* Freedom not Genius, Works from Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (RU)

* Kunst und Alchemie – Das Geheimnis der Verwandlung, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (DE)

* Full House: 100 Artists, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels (BE)

* Aus dem Fundus der botanischen Semantik, Cruise & Callas, Berlin (DE)

* Touch, Galerie Hartwich, Sellin (DE)

* Le Mur, Works from the Collection of Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris (FR)

* Ideal Standard, Oficina de Proyectos Culturales, Puerto Vallarta (MX)

* Schwarze Sauberei, Tete, Berlin (DE)

* The Remarkable Lightness of Being, Aeroplastics Contemporary Gallery, Brussels (BE)


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

* Babel, Botanique, Brussels (BE)

* C´est la vie – Das ganze Leben, Deutsches Hygiene Museum, Dresden (DE)

* Signs of the Times, Carré Sainte-Anne, Montpellier (FR)

* Flesh Reality, Point Zero, London (UK)

* The name is Burroughs ? Expanded Media, Sammlung Falckenberg, Deichtorhallen Hamburg (DE)

* Wonderful – Humboldt, Krokodil & Polke, Die Olbricht Collection, Me Collectors Room, Berlin (DE)

* UndeREALisme, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Perpignan (FR)

* Kaboom!, Weserburg, Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen (DE)

* Viewing Room, All Visual Arts, London (UK)

* Body Wars, Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London (UK)

* Highlights from the Collection II, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas (USA)


* Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago (USA)

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

* Freedom not Genius, Works from Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin (IT)

* Death: A Self-Portrait, The Richard Harris Collection, Wellcome Collection, London (UK)

* Sculptors’ Drawings and Works on Paper, Pangolin London (UK)

* Alice im Wunderland der Kunst, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (DE)

* The Aspiration Factory, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* Friends & Family, Kenny Schachter, Rove, London (UK)

* Het Gewichtige Lichaam, Museum Boerhaave (NL)

* Documenta 13, The Worldly House, Kassel (DE)

* Face Off, Gallerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin (DE)

* The name is Burroughs ? Expanded Media, ZKM, Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (DE)

* The End, Jacob's Island Gallery, London (UK)

* Voyage Voyage, Maison de l'Amerique Latine, Paris (FR)

* Artist´s Merchandising Art, Wonderloch Kellerland, Berlin (DE) / Los Angeles (USA)

* Kunstenfestival Watou 2012, Watou (BE)

* The End of Everything / A New Beginning, Larm Gallery, Copenhagen (DK)

* Till Rabus, Artiste Invité: John Isaacs, Gallery Une, Auvernier-Neuchâtel (CH)

* Gromiam - Les 20 ans de Groland, Miam (FR)

* Schriftuur/Scripture, De Bond, Bruges (BE)

* Babel, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (FR)


* Wax – Sensation in Contemporary Sculpture, GL Strand, Copenhagen (DK)

* Verschwende deine Jugend, Wendt + Friedmann Galerie, Berlin (DE)

* Tous Cannibales!, La Maison Rouge, Paris (FR)

* La Vallée Patibulaire, kuratiert von C. Bittermann, Berlin (DE)

* Human + The Future of our Species, Science Gallery, Dublin (IR)

* WAX – Sensation in Contemporary Sculpture, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg (DK)

* All Cannibals!, ME Collectors Room, Berlin (DE)

* Zwei Sammler: Thomas Olbricht und Harald Falckenberg, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (DE)

* Berlin Klondyke, curated by Irmelin and Reinald Nohal, Odd Gallery, Dawson (CA)

* Bulbus oculi – my precious, Kunstruimte deWILLEM3, Vlissingen (NL)

* The Dicks & Bonus Material, Teapot Gallery, Cologne (DE)

* Sounds like Architecture, Castles of Poeke and Schuurlo, St Maria Aalter (BE)

* Portraits de Collectionneurs – Jocelyne et Fabrice Petignat, Muro, Geneva (CH)

* Dead Lines, Von der Heydt Kunsthalle, Wuppertal-Barmen (DE)

* HabiteR / Collection Frac Midi-Pyrénées les Abattoirs, Toulouse (FR)

* Mémoires du futur, la collection Olbricht, La Maison Rouge, Paris (FR)

* Paradies, Wendt + Friedmann Gallery, Berlin (DE)

* Wild Thing, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth  (UK)


* Melodrama, MARCO, Vigo (ES)

* 1910 Figur 2010, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin (DE)

* In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous, Tape Modern, Berlin (DE)

* Rude Britannia, Tate Britain, London (UK)

* The weighty body, Dr. Guislain Museum, Ghent (BE)

* Art Barter, HBC, Berlin (DE)

* Lebenslust & Totentanz. Olbricht Collection, Kunsthalle Krems (DE)

* Alchemy of Delusion, Aeroplastics contemporary , Brussels (BE)

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

* berlinerzimmer #2, Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck (AT)

* Auf Leben und Tod – Der Mensch in Malerei und Fotografie, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud (DE)

* Public Image, Cooper Gallery, Dundee (UK)



* Natural Wonders, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow (RU)

* Works on paper, Museum 52, London (UK)

* Transzendenz Inc., Hospitalhof, Stuttgart (DE)

* That’s all Folks!, Stadhallen, Bruges (BE)

* Dream Time, Les Abattoirs, Museum of Modern Art, Toulouse (FR)

* Lynchmob, HBC, Berlin (DE)

* Mythologies, Haunch of Venison, London (UK)

* Distortion, Venice Biennale, Gervasuti Foundation, Venice (IT)

* Wind in Athens/Möhren in Athen, Myllerou 27, Athens (GR)

* Fool´s Food, CAN, Centre d’Art Neuchâtel (CH)

* Eat Me – Drink Me, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, Texas (USA)

* Borderline Pleasure, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin (DE)

* Luxus - Ruhe - Wollust, Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin (DE)

* Projection, Venice Film Festival, Gervasuti Foundation, Venice (IT)

* Transzendenz Inc., Forgotten Bar, Berlin (DE)

* Tier-Werden Mensch-Werden, NGBK, Berlin (DE)

* Zaunkönig, Wendt+Friedmann Gallerie, Berlin (DE)

* Can birds fly?, Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt (DE)


* Tell me, Witzenhausen Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)

* Gravity, Artium, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES)

* Deadly Serious, EXPRMNTL Galerie, Toulouse (FR)

* 12 – Works on paper, Gallery Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck (AT)

* NéoFutur, Les Abattoirs, Museum of Modern Art, Toulouse (FR)

* Evolution, Max Lang Gallery, New York (USA)

* Paul Thek. Werkschau im Kontext zeitgenössischer Kunst, Collection Falckenberg, Hamburg (DE)

* Holy Smoke, Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam (NL)

* Deadly Serious, Exprm´ntl Gallery, Toulouse (FR)

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

* Lustwarande 08 – Wanderland, Park de Oude Warande, Fundament Foundation, Tilburg (NL)

* Everybody knows this is nowhere, Wendt+Friedmann Galerie, Berlin (DE)

* When fears become form, CAN, Centre d’Art Neuchâtel (CH)

* Nature is a Workshop, Turner Contemporary, Kent (UK)


* Mutatis, mutandis - Collection d’Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris (FR)

* Say it isn’t so, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen (DE)

* Rocker’s Island. Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang, Essen (DE)

* Symbolism and Contemporary Art, Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal (DE)

* Wellcome Collection, The Wellcome Trust, London (UK)

* Sick. Between body and mind, Dr. Guislain Museum, Ghent (BE)

* Fearful Objects, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago (USA)

* Rare Essence, Aeroplastics contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* Paul Thek. Werkschau im Kontext zeitgenössischer Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe (DE)


* Blessed are the Merciful, Kinz + Tillou Fine Art, New York (USA)

* Assemblage III, Museum 52, London (UK)

* Global Tour, W139, Amsterdam (NL)

* L’infinito dentro lo sguardo, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Palazzo Forti, Verona (IT)

* Absolumental, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (FR)

* Mankind. Story of a wound, S.M.A.K. Museum of Modern Art, Ghent (BE)

* L’Homme-Paysage, Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille (FR)

* In the darkest hour there may be light, Serpentine Gallery, London (UK)


* New Sculpture, Museum 52, London (UK)

* Les Grands Spectacles, Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg (AT)

* Boost in the Shell, De Bond, Bruges (BE)

* FRAKTALE IV, Palast der Republik, Berlin (DE)

* Oracle of Truth, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* Chronic Epoch, Beaconsfield, London (UK)


* Blickverbindung, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg (DE)

* Mike Kelley – The Uncanny, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool & Museum Moderner Kunst Ludwig, Vienna (AT)

* Bad Behaviour, Arts Council Collection, National touring exhibition (UK)

* Pretty World, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* Extended horizons, Galleria d ?Arte Moderna Palazzo Forti, Verona (IT)

* The Ten Commandments, Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden (DE)

* Terror, Beaconsfield, London (UK)

* L’intime, Behind closed doors, La Maison Rouge, Paris (FR)

* Animals, Haunch of Venison, London (UK)

* De leur temps. Collections privées Francaises, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing (FR)

* Dreamscapes, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)


* Melodrama, MARCO, Vigo (ES)

* STOP!, South Bank, London (UK)

* Moving Energies # 01, Museum Folkwang, Essen (DE)

* The Human Zoo, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle (UK)

* Entranced, VTO, London (UK)

* Bad Behaviour, Arts Council Collection National touring exhibition, various locations (UK)

* Without fear or reproach, Witte Zaal, Ghent (BE)

* Opzij van het kijken, Watou (BE)

* Female Turbulence, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (BE)

* Real by Reel, Wouter van Leeuwen Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)

* Einblicke in Privatsammlungen, Museum Folkwang, Essen (DE)

* Rancho Notorious, Pearl, London (UK)


* Melodrama, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz & Palacio de los Condes de Gabia, Granada (ES)

* Ebenbilder, Ruhrlandmuseum, Essen (DE)

* Iconoclash, ZKM, Karlsruhe (DE)

* Kunst nach Kunst, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen (DE)

* Magic, VTO, London (UK)

* Wächserne Identitäten, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin (DE)


* Big Blue – Century City, Tate Modern, London (UK)

* Ohne Zögern – Without Hesitation – Sammlung Olbricht, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen (DE)

* Interaktionen – Natur & Architektur, S.M.A.K., Stadt Borken (DE)

* Minimal – Maximal, Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (JP)

* The Tattoo Show, Modern Art, London (UK)


* Katastrophen und Desaster, Museum Folkwang, Essen (DE)

* Spectacular Bodies, Hayward Gallery, London (UK)

* Disasters of War, KW, Berlin (DE)

* Front, Bilis, London (UK)

and before

* 1999 Minimal – Maximal, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, CGAC (ES)
Bad Bad, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Center for Contemporary Visual Arts, Bilbao (ES)
Nerve Systems, ICA, London (UK)
Unsichere Grenzen, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel (DE)
Wohin kein Auge reicht, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (DE)
A mountain and a valley, Cubitt Street Gallery, London (UK)

* 1998 Post Naturam – Nach der Natur, Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst Münster (DE)
Passage, Kunsthaus Hamburg (DE)
Host, Tramway, Glasgow (UK)
Plaats / The Kindness of Strangers, W139, Amsterdam (NL)
Post Naturam – Nach der Natur, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt (DE)
Project 8, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (KO)
Near, Sharjah Art Museum (UEA)

* 1997 Urbane Legenden – London, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (DE)
Genetic Choices, Science Museum, London (UK)
Crash, Camden Arts Centre, London (UK)
Volume I, Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe (DE)

* 1996 Young British Artists VI, Saatchi Gallery, London (UK)
Road Works, Camden mix, London (UK)

* 1995 Lost Property, W139 Gallery, Amsterdam & Great Western Studios, London (UK)
Ideal Standard Summertime, Lisson Gallery, London (UK)
Sick, 152c Brick Lane, London (UK)
Postscript, Lisson Gallery, London (UK)

* 1994 Dirty Holes, Modern Art, London (UK)
2B&I, Centro Cultural Salmerón, Madrid (ES)
Something’s Wrong, Tannery Arts, London (UK)

* 1993 Wonderful Life, Lisson Gallery, London (UK)
Outpost, multiple sites, Edinburgh (UK)
Wish you were here, Kings Cross, London (UK)



and before


and before