Maus Contemporary beta pictoris gallery

Join us at the Postions Berlin Art Fair and discover the 1970's photographs Mimetische Landschaften by Barbara and Michael Leisgen.
Maus Contemporary, Stand C11 

Positions Berlin Sept 14 to 17

Barbara and Michael Leisgen' s Mimetische Landschaften were the subject of a solo exhibition at the Neue Galerie - Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany as early as 1974, and were included in the 9ème Biennale de Paris in 1975, as well as in Documenta 6 in 1977.

25 Versuche ueber den Horizont zu springen

25 Versuche über den Horizont zu springen

25 silver gelatin print on baryta-coated Ilford Galerie FB paper
each photograph 10 by 15 cm (3.9 by 5.9 in.)
edition of twenty-five limited edition box sets w/ text in German, French, and English 
box dims ca. 40,7 by 31,6 by 3,2 cm (approx. 16 by 12.4 by 1.25 in.)

Barbara and Michael Leisgen's photography utilizes natural elements as mark making devices. At this year's Positions Berlin, Maus Contemporary will present the artists' Mimetic works from the 1970s, a crucial moment in which the Leisgens' works were a reaction against the conceptual photography coming out of Düsseldorf. In this series, Barbara's figure becomes the writing-force within the landscape. This work is a counterforce to their ongoing Sunwritings series, where the camera moves opposite the sun, allowing that celestial body to burn bright lines resembling squiggles, figures, and script into the image. The homocentrism of the Memetic works replaces the heliocentrism of the Sunwritings, adding fresh nuance to their oeuvre. Barbara stands with her arms and legs outraised, as if offering prayers to the sky or earth. This work has a distinct place in the canon of Land Art, as well as ties to the work of Ana Mendieta. The body becomes a marker within the landscape, bisecting it, and accentuating its shapes. 
In the 1970s, the early works of Barbara & Michael Leisgen came as a counterpoint to conceptual photography, notably led by the typological school of Bernd & Hilla Becher in Düsseldorf. The different works illustrated hereunder are part of the Mimesis series, located in practices in operation since the early 1960s : the recording of a natural trace, research concerning the body and experiments related to Land Art. Barbara Leisgen's silhouette is set, and leaves its fleeting trace in landscapes; the actions involve stretching out her arms to follow the contours of undulating countryside (the Paysage mimétique and Mimesis series), or to include the sun in an arc drawn by her arm while she is seen from behind in the center of the image. This is not merely imitating nature through its gestures; it describes, in the sense of tracing, and channels it as well. The (re)appropriation of the landscape is subjective, the silhouette of Barbara Leisgen being displayed in the landscape, inscribing its mark therein is ephemeral.
The pictures recall the visions of German Romanticism, notably the pictures of Caspar David Friedrich - his painting Morgenlicht being the figurative model for the Leisgen's Mime-sis works, although Friedrich's paradigm for considering nature as sacred is amended. One might see this as an anthropocentric romantic perspective such as the French Romantic view gave us. And yet, despite the sublime aspect of the photographed scenes and the preciousness of the prints which, beyond black and white, allow us to imagine a range of colors in the dazzling light, their images also refer back to the naivety and intrinsic nostalgia of souvenir photographs. The actual viewer is placed in a specular perception, being led to look at a woman posing in a natural expanse. By doing so, Barbara & Michael Leisgen are the precursors of current landscape approaches, relying simultaneously on a modernist and postmodernist viewpoint.
Barbara and Michael Leisgen's work is discussed and mentioned in numerous publications, including " Feminism Art Theory: An Anthology 1968 - 2014" (2015) by Hilary Robinson, " Video Art Historicized: Traditions and Negotiations (Studies in Art Historiography)" by Malin Hedlin Hayden (2015), " Une introduction a l'art contemporain" by Philippe Coubetergues (2005),  "Le Corps photographié" by Jean-Paul Blanchet, Dimitri Konstantinidis, ... (1996), " Le sentiment de paysage à la fin du XXème siècle" by Bernard Ceysson (1977), "Chroniques de l'Art Vivant" (1974), etc.
Their work has been the subject of following publications - mostly in conjunction with exhibitions, such as "Les Ecritures du Soleil (Sonnenschriften)" (1978), "Die Ägyptische Wand" (1980), "Stellungsspiel" (1987), "De la beauté usée : Barbara et Michael Leisgen, [exposition, Paris, Maison européenne de la photographie, 10 septembre-9 novembre 1997]" (1997), "Kunst-Landschaft 1969-2000" (2000), "Zeitsprung" (2000), and "Positions" (2006), amidst others.

Barbara & Michael Leisgen - public collections (selection) 
Musée National d'Art moderne - Centre Pompidou, Paris 
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris 
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles 
Sammlung der deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft Belgiens, Eupen 
Collection de la Communauté francaise de Belgique 
Fonds national d'art contemporain, Paris 
Szepmuveszéti - Museum, Budapest 
Ludwig - Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen 
Wallraf - Richartz Museum, Köln 
Regierungspräsidium Baden, Karlsruhe 
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 
Fotoforum der Gesamthochschule, Kassel 
Museum Bochum - Sammlung Klinker, Bochum 
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Rhône-Alpes, Lyon 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Alsace, Strasbourg 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Nord - Pas-de-Calais, Lille 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Bourgogne, Dijon 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Champagne - Ardennes, Reims 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Aquitaine, Bordeaux 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Limousin, Limoges 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Pays de Loire, Nantes 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Normandie, Rouen 
Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain Poitou, Poitiers 
Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi 
Stadtmuseum Jena 
Province de Hainaut, Belgique 
Ville de Dudelange, Luxembourg 
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris 
DZ Bank Frankfurt 
Banque Bruxelles Lambert, Bruxelles 
Banque Bruxelles Lambert France, Paris 
Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung, Aachen 
Belgacom, Bruxelles 
Collezione Contemporeanea, Braga / Portugal 
Musée d'Art Contemporain Val-de-Marne/Vitry 
Groupe Lhoist, Limelette 
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Annecy 
Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende 

Decades of Land Art and Feminism

click above image to read the the article

opens September 14 in Madrid, Spain
Yoshishige Furukawa and Jaime Burguillos at Rafael Ortiz Proyectos in Madrid

We are honored to announce our first collaboration with Sevilla-based gallerists Rafael and Rosalia Ortiz, at the gallery's project space, R. O. Proyectos, in Madrid, during this year's Apertura Madrid, the official start of the city's Art Season:  a selection of gallery artist Yoshishige Furukawa' s work in dialogue with Sevilla artist Jaime Burguillos.
Exhibition opens September 14 at 19:30h. 


currently on view at the gallery
Akiko Mashima at Maus Contemporary

" When I first stood in the city of New York, I felt that there was something different, I might have been overwhelmed with the high-rise buildings and the dynamism of the material resources of those buildings. I might have also felt both fear and magnetism toward the spaces that were created between the buildings rising straight upward from the ground to the sky. I think I gradually understood that the sense of existence created by the amount of materials is what can create spaces.
It was very new to me to see the spaces that were created in between buildings that abruptly rose upward in straight lines from the ground. As I walked on and on between those buildings, I felt as if the small 'me' was sinking to the bottom of somewhere. It felt as if my own existence and the existence of objects had merged into one... My insatiable desire wants to constantly reconfirm that feeling. I am definitely attracted to 'objects;' that is, towards massiveness. My interest lies in the angles and planes that are created in the objects. I am also surprised by the silent nature possessed by objects. I will always be intrigued by forms that are woven out of planes and masses."
- Akiko Mashima

These artist's words of recollection were written in 1995. People, not only today but in any era, have identified their mental connections with the world through the surprises and anxieties they feel by existing in the world. In order to transform these feelings into forms, they have sung, painted, and created physical representations. Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss clarified the structure of human thoughts that are common to tribes living in remote regions and environments, via his collaging of the fragments of myths passed down among different natives who live in North and South America.
Present-day cities seem to exist on the opposite sides of the African and Amazonian jungles (architect Rem Koolhaas metaphorically wrote that Manhattan is 'the 20th century's Rosetta Stone'). But if a city is seen as one environment within a given era, then the 'objects' that people have created out of their actions and necessary conditions for living (that is, those 'products' that were manually processed using the limited materials that an individual can handle) should allow one to perceive the elements and possibilities that can be linked to the fragments of myths and forms that have been the subjects of study for anthropologists and archeologists.

Mashima experienced 'one of the jungles' just as the transitional period shifted into a new century. Since that time, our minds have been focused on the crises of the entire human race that is in a state of constant opposition and confusion. In such a state, my expectation toward Mashima is that she will show us a profound creativity that is on a humanity-wide scale, as if to demonstrate the state of the polyphonic world that refuses to settle into a certain rationality, allowing her to produce works along the lines of potsherds or passages from ancient handed-down stories.
Akiko Mashima 78-01

Akiko Mashima


wood, paint
approx. 13 by 15 by 4 in.
(ca. 33 by 38 by 10 cm)

Akiko Mashima (born 1952 in Saga, Japan) studied sculpture at the Musashino Art University in 1976. She moved to New York in the late 1970s, attending the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1978-1979, and the Art Students League 1979-1980, and based her artistic activity in New York for the next twenty years, until 2000. Mashima's artistic career was thus developed in New York in the early 1980s to the end of the 1990s. She now lives in Kanagawa, Japan.

Mashima is the recipient of a Robert Smithson Memorial Scholarship in Sculpture (1978-1979), and received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1988. Her work has been included in solo exhibitions in New York as well as in her native Japan since 1977, and she was successfully represented since the mid-90's by well known New York gallery OK Harris, founded by longtime art dealer Ivan Karp after leaving Leo Castelli's gallery in October of 1969.

click images to learn more about the exhibition

Akiko Mashima installation image Maus Contemporary
Akiko Mashima 98-05

Akiko Mashima


wood, paint
approx. 72.2 by 16.1 by 3.5 in.
(ca. 184 by 41 by 9 cm)

Akiko Mashima square for space 01-08

Akiko Mashima

square for space 01-08

wood, paint
approx. 41.75 by 55.5 by 4.1 in.
(ca. 106 by 141 by 10,5 cm)

Akiko Mashima 05-03

Akiko Mashima


wood, paint
approx. 24.8 by 53.1 by 20.9 in.
(ca. 63 by 135 by 153 cm)

Akiko Mashima installation view Sound of Space at Maus Contemporary
Gema Alava Observational Awareness
Gema Álava
Observational Awareness

at Robert Henry Contemporary
56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn (Bushwick)
through October 22
Graham Fagen at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Graham Fagen
The Slave's Lament

at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh
through October 29

We are excited to announce Jelili Atiku 's participation in the 57th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA, curated by Christine Macel.

La Biennale di Venezia 2017
Jelili Atiku

"I am a Nigerian visual artist, whose body of works strictly focuses on commitment to social, humanism and the crimes being committed against human life. Through series of performances, Installation Sculpture, drawings, photography and video art I have been relating to life and freedom; and ultimately direct attention to the importance of human values of life, freedom and human rights. In other words, through my art forms I have been taken viewers into a realization of the consequences of crises, human rights abuse, conflicts and wars, direct and involve them in "active participation in the improvement of our collective existence." Hence, I hold a belief that viewers will upon viewing my works will "participate through visual education and persuasion in the development of popular attitudes which can lead eventually to a better society." By so doing, my performance would have influenced the mind, feelings, nerves and soul of the viewers for positive thinking and actions."

- Jelili Atiku


Jelili Atiku documentary

click above image to watch a short documentary on Jelili Atiku

Maus Contemporary | beta pictoris gallery is a contemporary art gallery and space dedicated to supporting creativity with a focus on experimental and issue driven works. Through representing emerging, established, and internationally recognized artists, the gallery is committed to bringing a global perspective to contemporary issues and practices across the visual arts. 
The program consists of exhibitions, print publications, and media outreach.

The gallery's exhibition program, focusing on ten to twelve week long exhibitions, has become a staple of curatorial excellence in the South of the US, and the gallery has received critical attention from the press, including Art Forum and Art in America.
The exhibition Mark Flood: FACEBOOK FARM was selected as one of three finalists for the AICA-USA Award for Excellence in Art Criticism and Curatorial Achievement in the category Best show in a commercial space nationally outside of New York.

The gallery's mission is to offer a platform for experimentation in a culturally difficult environment through four to six exhibitions a year in addition to curated projects in cities such as Madrid.

Maus Contemporary has released twelve publications so far, most recently for the exhibition " terreno áspero | rugged terrain, five contemporary artists from Spain", and a monograph on gallery artist Leslie Smith III.
The gallery is currently working on a first survey publication on Spanish artist Irene Grau. 

Maus Contemporary beta pictoris gallery
© Maus Contemporary, 2010-2017