Alexandra Leykauf & Lisa Oppenheim

25 Aug - 15 Oct 2006

Alexandra Leykauf & Lisa Oppenheim
24 August to 15 October 2006

Foam offers a remarkable, combined presentation of work by artists Alexandra Leykauf and Lisa Oppenheim from 24 August to 15 October 2006.

Alexandra Leykauf and Lisa Oppenheim both examine the complex interplay between representation, reproduction and conservation of the photographic medium.

By manipulating archive material, rediscovered photos and printed media, they imbue existing images with new meaning and toy with the viewer’s expectations. The theme that runs through both artists’ work is the visualisation of the pictorial mechanism.

Alexandra Leykauf’s work focuses on the different levels at which an image exists. The image as a surface, or as space, as physical substance or abstract suggestion, as a barrier or a bridge, as a border and a crossing between two worlds.

In her ‘Folds’ series Leykauf examines the three-dimensionality of books on a two-dimensional surface. The folds that disturb the depicted image draw attention to both the artificiality of the picture and the imaginary space that it creates. The missing section, in the fold, suggests another space behind the picture, like off-space in film. Imagined space also plays a role in her ‘Hotel des Grottes’ series. This features black-and-white reproductions of a landscape showing a cave and the person who discovered it. What you see is not really a cave, but a black hole, the absence of substance. It is the surroundings that reveal it to be a cave: the viewer has to fill the void with stereotypes and experiences of caves.

Lisa Oppenheim uses documents from American visual archives. By reusing and manipulating historical documents she explores the relationship between image, idiom and time. For her ‘Killed Negatives’ installation she used negatives from the Farm Security’s Administration archive which were perforated to prevent reuse. Underneath Oppenheim places recent photos, taken at the same or similar locations, in the shape of the gaps. As in Leykauf’s series spaces are created, here filled by photography, drawing together history and the present day.

Similarly, for her ‘Damaged’ series Oppenheim used the photo archives of the Chicago Daily News. She printed parts of damaged negatives onto newsprint, suggesting their original context, and placed the original caption below. The texts refer to specific moments in history, apparently unconnected with the image. It suggests the passing of time since the picture was taken and the ultimate decay of the image.

Alexandra Leykauf (b. 1976, Nuremberg, Germany), graduated in 2002 at the Rietveld Academie in Audiovisual Art and Photography, and spend a work period in 2003 and 2004 at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Leykauf has shown work at Galerie Barbara Wien, Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris (2004), and Galerie Martin van Zomeren (2004 and 2005), her representative.

Lisa Oppenheim (b. 1975, New York) graduated in 2001 at Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts, in Film/Video and studied at Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2004. Oppenheim has exhibited at Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (2005), Stuart Shave/Modern Art London (2006). Lisa Oppenheim is represented by Galerie Juliette Jongma.

For more information and press-images please contact Merel Kappelhoff ( / +31 20 55 16 500.

© Alexandra Leykauf, Luitpoldpark 2003

Tags: Milton Avery, Alexandra Leykauf, Lisa Oppenheim