Alexandra Leyre Mein was born in Brussels, Belgium. She graduated from the fashion department at the Royal academy of Antwerp. This allowed her to pursue her love for the human body and the fluidity of fabrics. She didn’t want to study visual arts at an academy as she believed this would influence her visual language. In 2008, she started sculpting as an autodidact, finally feeling ready to pursue her long-time dream, following in the steps of her grandfather. Her work has been exhibited in Europe at Palais d’Iléna, Aeroplastics, Maison Particulière, Botanique, and in New York at the Clemente Center, New House Center for Contemporary Art, and Anton Kern Gallery. Besides her sculptural practice, Alexandra continues to work with dancers and choreographers. She has designed and made sets and costumes in collaboration with e.g., Damien Jalet. These creations have been shown at Palazzo Fortuny, during the Venice Biennial, the festival d'Avignon, Tokyo International Arts festival and at the Louvre in Paris. Alexandra now lives and works between Brussels, Belgium and Brooklyn, USA.
Alexandra Leyre Mein creates movement from the stillness of her powerful, yet vulnerable sculptures. Her works are mostly figurative or abstract, portraying the everlasting battle between human unconscious desires and the intellectual self. She translates these themes with force into sculptures that are both contemporary and yet seem to come from another age. The movement and tension emerges from the encounter between organic forms and clean, pristine, edged shapes in her plaster sculptures, symbolizing human nature and its societal/environmental interactions. The characteristic unfinished aspect of her sculptures reinforces the feeling of movement, as in a three-dimensional sketch. They can be interpreted as if still in construction and growing, although they might also be seen as being at the dawn of their decomposition. This duality of interpretation is central to her work.
Through her new show, ‘The Edge of Obliquity’, Alexandra Leyre Mein explores the repeating history of human folly in the context of place, i.e., the gymnasium’s historical link to the psychiatric institution that the exhibition site once was, and time, i.e., the date of opening of the exhibition, which coincides with the commemoration of the end of the first world war.