Matts Leiderstam Biography

Leiderstam has since his early career in the late 1980s worked primarily with painting, often based on photographic sources. During the first half of the 1990s his work took a political turn, for instance in his work The Shepherds, and his field of interest was expanded to the landscape – the park as a gay cruising area. This parallel perspective was later transposed to art-history and more specifically to the physical space of the museum.

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By the use of multiple forms of interpretation as well as the relationship between original and copy as method, such as in the extensive exhibition project Grand Tour, he was able to challenge the patriarchal gaze that has characterized art-history. Since the mid 00s, when he completed his PhD, he has been working primarily with photography, installation and text in relation to landscape and portraiture as genres, all the while with painting and the gaze as an underlying theme.

His on-going conversation with art history and its materials has led him into museum storage facilities and archives. He has a keen interest in the circulation of artworks through commissions, acquisitions, theft and confiscation and what these things tell us. His work also deals with how ways of seeing change over time and he seeks out alternative – queer - stories connected to the act of seeing or looking at painting. For Leiderstam it is the very moment of encountering a painting that guides all the permutations his work might take within an exhibition space.

Matts Leiderstam, born 1956, lives and works in Stockholm and Malmö. Selected solo presentations from the last decade include: Andrehn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm (2018), Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (2017), Collectors Space, Istanbul (2016) Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2010). Selected group shows: Art Encounters Biennal 2019, Timisoara (2019), The 11th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, Generosity. The Art of Giving, The National Gallery, Prague (2016), Recto Verso, Fondazione Prada, Milan, In Search of Matisse, Heine Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo (2015), 8th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Ciclorama, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2013).

Text courtesy Andréhn-Schiptjenko.

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