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Edgar Leciejewski's first exhibition with Contemporary Fine Arts on view in Berlin
Edgar Leciejewski, Scene in a Library, 2019. Matt color-print on alu-dibond, wood, framed. Photo: Matthias Kolb and Courtesy Contemporary Fine Arts.

BERLIN.- Contemporary Fine Arts is presenting Ferragosto, Edgar Leciejewski’s first exhibition with the gallery.

Fire is an ambiguous phenomenon. It represents both destruction and renewal. In the Middle Ages, fire was a medium of punishment and purification. It stood as a kind of limbo, marking the boundary between the total bliss of paradise and the eternal damnation of hell. In many cultures, it is worshipped as something divine. In China, it is typical to burn bundles of cash termed “Hell Money” to provide for relatives in the afterlife and to honor the gods.

Something of this magical or transformative power of fire burns in Edgar Leciejewski's “Fabric Images.” Here, still life forms, assemblage and portraits move across each other like projected slides. “Fire gives and takes,” Leciejewski points out. “In fire, one sees everything.” The artist uses images of a dozen or so culturally or socially significant contemporary women, hanging their photographs in his studio alongside various decorative materials and wax prints. The images become an homage of sorts to modern heroines, trailblazers, artists or pioneers. We recognize the likes of political theorist and philosopher Hannah Ahrendt, the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, Chinese pop star Fan Bingbing, the actress Tilda Swinton, the grand pianist Marthat Argerich and the first transgender model to grace the cover of Vogue Valentina Sampaio. Other women pictured come from the artist’s circle of friends and acquaintances.

Leciejewski considers photography a pleasurable and intellectual medium, as evinced by his series Egg Pictures, which he created using a scanner. The close-up of the egg, something at once quotidian and symbolically charged, affirms the proverbial uniqueness of each egg, though the photographer sought out eggs that were as uniform as possible for the project. Eggs are also found in the large-format bookshelf image Scene in a Library (2019), a composition containing numerous references and produced using various photographic processes and arrangements. Contemplation is also a special form of reading. - Kito Nedo, Berlin, August 2019

Edgar Leciejewski was born in 1977 in East Berlin. His family moved to the West Germany in 1986. After a book shop apprenticeship and a high school diploma earned in evening courses, Leciejewski studied Theater and Philosophy at Berlin’s Frei University from 2001 to 2003. He studied art at Leipzig’s Academy of Visual Arts (HGB) under Timm Rautert, Christopher Muller and Peter Piller. His work has been presented in numerous international exhibitions and publications.

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