Space is a pivotal theme in my works, both the urban space and outer space itself. Spaces and objects that have been created in specific historical contexts undergo a transformation designed to make history and social change palpable.”
Sonia Leimer studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria 2001–2004. Founder member of the architecture office and gallery Nullmaschine 2001–2002. Monthly radio broadcast “Image and the City” on Radio Orange 2005–2012. From 2012 to 2016 she was teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and from 2017 to 2018 at the ETH Zürich, department Architecture and Art. 2019 Project Collaboration with Alessandra Cianchetta, Cooper Union – The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, New York City.
In her work, Sonia Leimer explores our perceptual foundations, which are formed on the basis of individual, historical, and media-related patterns of experience. As products of concrete historical contexts, rooms and objects undergo a transformation in which history and societal changes become palpable.
Urban spaces are key themes in the artist’s work. Her sculptures, videos and installations find expression somewhere between real locations, imaginary settings and undefined dimensions – like the dimensions of cosmic galaxies. Sonia Leimer’s works leave scattered clues and traces without ever forming a complete identity, to the point of becoming visual enigmas requiring constant re-interpretation.
Sonia Leimer participated at the Venice Biennale for Architecture (2021), the Vienna Biennale for Change (2021), and the Vladivostok Biennale for Visual Arts (2017). She took part in the Moscow Biennale, Russia (2013 and 2015), and the Manifesta 7 Rovereto, Italy (2008).
Selected solo exhibitions: Neuer Kunstverein Wien, Vienna (2022); MAN_Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Sardinia (2021); Museion, Bozen (2020/2021); ISCP, International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York City (2019); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2017); LAMOA Los Angeles Museum of Art (2014); Museion, Bozen (2012); MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles (2012); Kunstverein Basis, Frankfurt/Main (2011); BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna (2010); and Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2010).
Selected museum collections: Belvedere, Vienna; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MAK-Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Kunsthaus Bregenz; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; MAN_Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Sardinia; mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Sammlung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz; Tiroler Landesmuseum, Innsbruck; and Wien Museum, Vienna.
Sonia Leimer was awarded numerous scholarship and prizes, among others she was one of the winners of the IV edition of the Italian Council, promoted by Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries, Rome (2018). She received the Quivid First Prize, Kunst am Bau, Munich (2017), the Paul Flora-Prize (2011), the Audi Award, New Positions, Cologne (2011), the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky-Prize (2007), and the Austrian state scholarship for fine arts (2009). She was an artist in residence of the International Studio & Curatorial Program, ISCP, New York (2017) and received the MAK Schindler scholarship (2005).