Jon Kessler received a B.F.A. from SUNY at Purchase and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He has exhibited his work widely in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He has sculptures in the permanent collections of many institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He has received several NEA grants, the St. Gaudens Memorial Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Foundation for the Performing Arts grant.
For his solo exhibition "Global Village Idiot" at Deitch Projects in 2004, he began a new series of video sculptures, which led to his first New York museum exhibition, "The Palace at 4 A.M." at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in 2005. The show traveled to the Phoenix Kulturstiftung/Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg, the House of World Cultures in Berlin and the Louisiana Museum in Denmark. In 2008 he showed his drawings and collages at The Drawing Center in New York. In 2009 Kessler exhibited his video installation, "Kessler's Circus" at Deitch Projects. There are three major publications on his work, Jon Kessler's Asia, Jon Kessler, and The Palace at 4 A.M. He plays guitar and harmonica with the art rock band The X-Patsys.