Edgar Martins

Lives & works: UK

Edgar Martins was born in Évora, Portugal (1977) and grew up in Macau, China, where he published his first novel entitled “Mãe deixa-me fazer o pino”. In 1996 he moved to the UK, where he completed a BA in Photography at the University of the Arts followed by an MA in Photography Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in London, UK. Author of  over 15 critically acclaimed books since 2002, Martins has exhibited internationally at PS1 MoMA; MOPA, San Diego, USA; MACRO, Rome; MAST, Bologna; Laumeier Sculpture Park, Centro Cultural de Belém, Centro de Arte Moderna de Bragança, Centro de Arte Moderna and MAAT, Lisbon; Centro Cultural Hélio Oiticica, Brazil; The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK; PM Gallery & House, The Gallery of Photography, Dublin; Ffotogallery and The Wolverhampton Art Gallery & Museum, UK;  Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool UK;  José de Guimarães International Art Centre, Portugal; New Walk Museum & Art Gallery Leicester, UK and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul among others.

Field Editions is proud to present Edgar Martins’ work ; ‘Photogram #1 from his acclaimed series ‘Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other interludes’, produced during a research project undertaken by Martins at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Science (INMLCF) in Lisbon and Coimbra, Portugal. Various images of forensic evidence – from suicide notes to photographs documenting violent crimes – were drawn upon by Martins from INMLCF’s vast archive, eliciting an expansive exploration of the relationship between photography and the subject of sudden or violent death.

‘Photogram #1′ is one of two C-Type prints from original photograms of suicide notes. The blue lines at the edges of each work show the edges of the sheets of glass used to keep the post-it notes flat and as centred as possible as Martins worked on them in the pitch darkness of his studio. They are integral to the work, both as diffusers of the message in the post-it notes, and perhaps also as metaphors for the fine-line between artistic control and loss, or relinquishing of control over artistic processes.

Edgar Martins was the recipient of the Thames & Hudson and RCA Society Book Art Prize (2003), the Jerwood Photography Award (2003), the New York Photography Award 2008, the BES Photo Prize (2009), The SONY World Photography Award (2010), the International Photography Awards 2010 and the SONY World Photography Award (2017). He was also nominated for the Prix Pictet 2010 and received honorable mentions in competitions such as the ICP Infinity Awards (2004), Concurso Purification Garcia (2012), the New York Photography Awards (2013), Voies Off (2017), Hariban Award (2017), Lens Culture/Magnum Awards (2017).

Edgar Martins was selected to represent Macau (China) for the 54th Venice Biennale.



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