Martin Mlecko was born in 1951 in Essen and passed away in 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

Martin Mlecko was an investigative artist working in a range of media, continually seeking the inherent beauty in objects. His photographic oeuvre is a collection of series without itself being serial in structure. He is both traveler and observer, sometimes also seeker, whose creative products defy relegation into the clearly defined pigeon holes of the art industry. Among his art forms are large-format installations and small-scale documentation, both representational and abstract.

Mlecko´s photos are put on show not so much as observations of reality. They are more expressions of moods: they have their origins in personal experience, in the found objects in his close environment. The two series entitled Prelude and Je Ne Sais Quoicould alternatively be named Eros and Thanatos, which in psychoanalytical terms mean life energy and death: the beginning and the end. They are references to the beginning and the end of (analogue) photography. While the photographs in Prelude are the physical beginnings of a film, in Je Ne Sais Quoi they show only the cinematic essence – effacing the subject. Je Ne Sais Quoishows the impossibility of ultimately defining an aesthetic object in terms of language.

Private Libraries save individual secrets and identities. They are archives of personal developments and interests and always a statement of the intellectual state of their owner. Martin Mlecko searches for these libraries, bookcases, and bookshelves in the flats of differently orientated people. He photographs them on the spot from various angles and distances, turns to a certain detail at a later point in time, and collages ultimately pictures from his memory, pointing out the uniqueness of each individual library. The series Evidenz (evidence) issues the textual and aesthetic interaction of stored and collected books. It is giving hints on the private library as a maybe slowly disappearing cultural possession, of its sometimes also unimposing beauty. Furthermore, it sometimes affiliates with its role as a collage of life itself.


Die Dinge des Lebens


Je ne sais quoi


Private Life


BA Fine Art, Major in Photography, Parsons School of Design, New York, USA 1993-1996

BA Fine Art, Major in Photography, Parsons School of Design, Paris, France 1992-1993


Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Museet for Fotokonst, Brandt, Denmark

Victoria&Albert Museum, London, UK

The Swedish Art Council


British Council, Forschungsreise mit dem National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK 2007

Arbeits – Stipendium culturesfrance, Paris, France 2007

Paris, Cite Internationale des Arts, Aufenthaltsstipendium, France 2006

7_seas Travel-log – eines der schönsten deutschen Bücher, Stiftung Buchkunst Frankfurt, Germany 2003

Stiftung Kunst und Kultur NRW, Germany 1991

Glück Auf, w/Wolfgang Schöddert, Barbara Krüger, Rosemarie Trockel, Tony Cragg, Olaf Metzel a.o., Zeche Rheinpreussen, Moers, Germany 1991

Oberhalb der Baumgrenze, w/Christian Boltanski, Tony Cragg, Walter Dahn, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Rosemarie Trockel a.o., Schloß Gut Granerhof, Germany 1990


Catalogue FIVE, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, Germany 2015

Les choses de la vie (Die Dinge des Lebens), Corinna Weidner (Hrsg.), Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld, Germany 2013

Smooth trippin, Edel Verlag, Hamburg, Germany 2005

Closed circuit, Ein Leitfaden zur Geschichte und Theorie der Medienkunst, Seite 698f, Slavco Kacunco, Logos Verlag, 2004

Heimweh, Corinna Weidner (Hrsg.), Nicolai-Verlag, Berlin, Germany 2003

Lexikon der Fotografen, Reinhold Misselbeck (Hrsg.), Prestel Verlag, Munich, Germany, 2002

Private Life, Corinna Weidner (Hrsg.), Prestel Verlag, München, 2002

travel_log, Corinna Weidner (Hrsg.), Mare Verlag, Hamburg, 2002

Paternoster, Wolfgang Schöddert (Hrsg.). Mit Beiträgen von Boris Groys, Paolo Bianchi, Constantin von Barloewen u.a., 1994

Z, Kay von Keitz (Hrsg.), 1994

Positionen, Wolfgang Schöddert (Hrsg.), 1993

Glück Auf, Mit Beiträgen von Giancinto Di Pietrantonio, Andrea Pagnes, Johannes Stüttgen u.a., 1991

Oberhalb der Baumgrenze, Mit Beiträgen von Friedhelm Mennekes, Bettina Pauly, Andrea Pagnes, 1990

Martin Mlecko Arbeiten 1986-1989, Anderland Verlag, Munich, Germany 1989

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

On the Lookout for Beauty, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden 2017

Photo Basel, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, Switzerland 2016

Private, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery – Studio show, Berlin, Germany 2015

Die Sieben Weltmeere, Videoskulptur im öffentlichen Raum, Frankfurt, Germany 2014

still /LIFE,
Galerie Pinter & Milch, Berlin Gewalt und Leidenschaft AJL Art, Germany 2013

Les choses de la vie, Pavlov’s Dog, Berlin, Germany 2013

Photographie, w/ Lara Dhondt, Bourouina Gallery, Berlin, Germany 2011

BEAUTIES and beasts, Kunstraum Denkpause, Hamburg, Germany 2010

Hysteria, Premiere, c/o Berlin, Germany 2009

Das kleine Glück, found Galerie, Hamburg, Germany 2007

BEAUTIES and beasts, Galerie immanence (Goethe Institut), Paris, France 2007

Fetish No I, Galerie 1blick, Hallein, Germany 2007

Family Affair, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria 2006

Loge, proejct space on Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Germany 2006

Gewalt und Leidenschaft, Schauraum 1°, Berlin, Germany 2006

Familienbande, Schauraum 1°, Berlin, Germany 2005

Von der Hoffnung, part 3 of the Trilogy Liebe-Glaube-Hoffnung, Heilandskirche

Potsdam and Schauraum 1°, Berlin, Germany 2006

Ich glaube, part 2 of the Trilogy Liebe-Glaube-Hoffnung, Schauraum 1°, Berlin,

Germany 2006

Über die Liebe, part 1 of the trilogy Liebe-Glaube-Hoffnung, Familienlokal Euler-Eck, Berlin, Germany 2004

BEAUTIES and Beasts, Boutwell-Draper Gallery, Sydney, Australia 2001

Die Dinge des Lebens, Galerie Jule Kewenig c/o Rudolf Springer, Berlin, Germany 1997

Nomaden, public exhibition on the station platforms of central station, Cologne, Germany 1996

Positionen – Venedig, New York und Köln, Kunstraum Balanstraße, Munich, Germany 1995

Positionen – 14.Mai 1995, Raum für Kunst F & M, Cologne, Germany 1995

Cadavre Exqui, Cologne, Germany 1995

Pater Noster, a room transformation with lectures by Boris Groys, Constantin von

Barloewen, Paolo Bianchi and others, Hansa-Hochhaus, Cologne, Germany 1994

The Venice-Piece, Raum für Kunst F & M, Cologne, Germany 1994

Hennaraum, Marktstraße 13, Munich, Germany 1992

Z – 1. Station, attempt for an autopoetic structure in art, in cooperation with Milo

Frielinghaus, Cologne, Germany 1992

Labyrinthos, Galerie Art & Concept, Munich, Germany 1990

Martin Mlecko 1986 to 1989, Art & Concept Gallery, Munich, Germany 1989

Ich bin Berliner, Political Statement, Berlin, Germany 1986

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

Perceptions, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, Germany 2016

Scope Miami Beach, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, Miami, USA 2015

Invisible Past-pictures of a disappearing time, w/ Sibylle Bergemann, Stefan Moses,

Hannes Kilian, Leo Pompinon, Galerie Johanna Breede, Berlin, Germany 2010

Kunst Is The People’s Project, plan 10, Forum aktueller Architektur, Cologne, Germany 2010

Überleben, w/ graft architects Aut, Innsbruck, Austria 2010

Zeigen – a project by Karin Sander, Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin, Germany 2010

Inszenierte Fotografie, Fototage, Wiesbaden, Germany 2009

Stand by your man, Filmmuseum Wien, Vienna, Austria 2009

Visions in New York City, short films and videos, curated by Maurizio Pellegrin,

Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, US 2009

IN.SIGHT.OUT, Video Schau – Giardino del Guasto, Bologna, Italy 2008

ON THE EDGE OF LOVE, Souterrain, Sammlung Hoffmann, Berlin, Germany 2008

Stilles Leben, found Galerie, Hamburg, Germany 2008

Gemischte Gefühle, found Galerie, Hamburg, Germany 2008

Was ist deutsch?, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, Germany 2006

Über die Liebe – Euler Eck, a Reminiszenz-Installation, Berliner Liste 05, Germany 2005

Heimweg, Galerie Zink & Gegner, Munich, Germany 2004

Heimweg, Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne, Germany 2004

Private, w/ Christian Boltanski, Gordon Matta-Clark, Pat Naldi & Wendy Kirkup and Thomas Ruff, KulturAllianzen, Cologne, Germany 2000

Les Adieux, w/Christian Boltanski, Imi Knoebel, Katharina Sieverding, Rosemarie

Trockel a.o, Galerie Jule Kewenig, Frechen, Germany 1999

Waiting, video installation, Forum aktuelle Architektur im Museum für

Angewandte Kunst, Cologne, Germany 1999

Die Dinge des Lebens, photo installation w/ Giulio Paolini, Galerie Jule Kewenig, Frechen, Germany 1999

Papier, w/ Mercedes Barros, Frances Scholz, Charles Worthen a.o., Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Cologne, Germany 1999

Königswalde – Berlin, 1, Berlin-Biennale, plattform, Berlin, Germany 1998