Edgar Martins


Landscape, place, space, and architecture have established themselves as the predominant themes in Martins' photographic imagery. Martins uses photography to develop a philosophical, quasi-scientific investigation, examining various minimalist concepts of the contemporary urban landscape. Moving between the factual and fictional, between the concrete and the metaphorical, the artist operates within a landscape of uncertainty, permanent flux, transition and opposition.
His work maintains a close and subtle dialogue with the traditions of topography and landscape photography, but there is also a link to the cinematic, the pictorial, and the sculptural. Martins' photography remains unique in its psychological nuances, playing on the appeal and fascination of the unknown as we are faced with the pure emptiness of man-made spaces of experimentation.

Edgar Martins was born in Évora (Portugal) but grew up in Macau (China). In 1996 he moved to the UK, where he studied at the University of the Arts, and the Royal College of Art. His work is represented internationally in collections, such as the V&A (London), the National Media Museum (Bradford), RIBA (London), the Dallas Museum of Art (USA); MAST (Italy), Fondation Carmignac (Paris).

His first book was awarded the Thames & Hudson and RCA Society Book Art Prize. Between 2002 and 2018 Martins published 12 separate books. These were exhibited internationally at institutions including PS1 MoMA (New York), the Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian (Paris), Centro de Arte Moderna (Lisbon).

Edgar Martins was the recipient of the inaugural New York Photography Award (Fine Art category) in May 2008. Between 2009 and 2010 he was also awarded the BES Photo Prize (Portugal), a SONY World Photography Award, 1st prize in the Fine Art— Abstract category of the 2010 International Photography Awards as well as nominated for the Prix Pictet 2010. In 2017-2018 he was distinguished in the Magnum and SONY World Photography Awards. Edgar Martins represented Macau (China) at the 54th Venice Biennale.

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