ARTIST TAKEOVER: Lea Jessen | In The Gallery

‘I like how certain details are able to take on a whole new visual meaning when removed from their original context.’

Lea Jessen sees the world differently and translates her outlook through an aesthetic rooted in the Concrete art movement of the mid-twentieth century. Represented by Copenhagen-based In The Gallery, here she shares some of her most innovative imagery and sheds light on each piece. Powerful when seen en masse, it’s clear why Jessen is fast becoming known as one of the most innovative image-makers today.

While Jessen practices a disciplined approach to capturing her subject matter she leaves room to welcome those irregularities, those extraordinary fragments to enter the frame. Seeking out the irregularities and quirks secreted within the monotony of the every day, her work is often described as refreshing and reflexive. 

Jessen is represented by In The Gallery, a contemporary art space located in the heart of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen. Dedicated to showcasing emerging and established artists working predominantly with camera-based art, the gallery has exhibited at PHOTOFAIRS since 2014. Always delivering a dynamic display of thought-provoking pieces that break new boundaries within the photographic medium, In The Gallery are always a highlight for fair visitors. 

Jessen talks us through a selection of her images and reveals more about her photographic practice.   

© Lea Jessen, STEPS, 2014

With this series I was instantly attracted to the patterns, colors and shadows of the architecture. When I took a closer look I also saw a faded glamour of a bygone era. I wanted to capture this in a strictly composed work where clean lines go hand–in–hand with small irregularities. 

© Lea Jessen, BLOCKS #5, 2016

I think a duality can be found in my work. On the one hand it is very focused on the formal aspects of the images, their lines and the interplay of colours, and in this way they almost come to resemble abstract painting. On the other hand, there are all these little marks and dents in the surfaces, which remind you that the images are not imagined, but are based on objects in the real world, which is one of the characteristics making photography such a unique medium. 

'Take a look around, aesthetic compositions are to be found everywhere.’ 

© Lea Jessen, SYRIA LIGHT #2, 2009

In this work I see a sense of loss and longing. It is a suburban scenery from Syria. Shot at night, the place seems at once inhabited and deserted. The locations might be foreign, but the haunting feeling is profoundly familiar. 

© Lea Jessen, WALL COMPOSITION #4, 2017

I am attracted to the way in which architecture creates abstract images through patterns of colour, lines and form. I like how certain details are able to take on a whole new visual meaning when removed from their original context. My works do not have an explicitly narrative focus, they are very open for the viewer to project his or her own feelings onto the piece. 

© Lea Jessen, WALL COMPOSITION #1, 2015

I like the idea that people might use my works to gain a new perspective on their everyday surroundings and to see the beauty in all the little details, which usually go unnoticed. This piece is actually the ceiling of a garage. Take a look around, aesthetic compositions are to be found everywhere. 

Discover more about In The Gallery here
Enjoy Lea Jessen’s portfolio here
You can see Jessen’s full takeover on the PHOTOFAIRS Instagram account here
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