Xenia Lesniewski

Das Grüne Kreuz Hoffnung

24 July – 24 August 2014

Dazzling ambivalence and the principle of hope go OK: A gloryhole to the fragmentary union of fiction and reality. A sexplotation in the ice moon ocean, a filling up of emotional deficits: unconditionally sad - funny.

Xenia Lesniewski uses her work to translate personal experiences, memories, fears as well as human abysses and mental processes, in an abstract yet direct way. At the Dortmunder Kunstverein, she creates a room-filling ensemble consisting of different elements and media, based on her previous installative artistic practice. Lesniewski's work deals with sociological, cultural, and philosophical theories and insights that have both contemporary and art historical references.  Working with numerous media, she creates an overall mood in her compositions characterized by contrasts and forced contradictions.

Framed by collage-like constructions, mirror-like components and oversized neon tube elements, made of large-format and strongly colored drawings, paintings, color surfaces, commercial wallpaper and industrial materials as open, garishly charged pictorial worlds, her works present themselves: full of allusions, readable and at the same time unreadable, static and moving, two-dimensional and spatial, digital and analogue, seemingly cheerful and yet full of sadness. Script and content, used ornamentally, create analogies that are developed and completed by the recipient. Pithiness of forms and content is framed by delicacy, while harsh contrasts are set alongside wounded, abused images and texts.

Lesniewski names the modernist, media-specific concept of painting as the starting point of her working method but is particularly interested in its extensions to the point of apparent dissolution. According to Lesniewski, the preoccupation with painting and a contemporary concept of art cannot only describe a specific problem of art history but must always take its expanded context into the field of vision. She emphasizes the importance of being able to grasp her own productive, artistic process in its current development and appearance as such, in order to be able to ask about its location in the overall social context and its resulting constitution as an institution of art. In addition, her position explicitly touches again and again on the connection between art, economy, and society. One should not only endure contradictions but make them the impetus of one's own work, expose them, in order not only to no longer allow oneself to be determined by them surreptitiously, but to keep open a perspective for change through them: Das grüne Kreuz der Hoffnung (engl. The green cross of hope).

On the occasion of the summer break of the Dortmunder Kunstverein, Lesniewski conceives an expansive ensemble consisting of different elements and carrier media, which can be grasped entirely from the outside through the large glass windows. During the runtime, she constantly makes changes within the installation so that it does not remain in its original state, but continuously offers new incentives to look through the windows.   Xenia Lesniewski (*1985) studied painting and animated film with Prof. Judith Eisler at the University of Applied Arts Vienna from 2010, and free art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach from 2005 to 2013, completing her diploma studies in 2013 with distinction under Prof. Juliane Rebentisch, Prof. Heiner Blum and Prof. Adam Jankowski.


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