Carmen Leidner-Heidrich was born in 1963. Her Wall painting “Niemandsland” (No man’s land) shows a huge sun behind a desert landscape, fenced in with barbed wire. In 2009, the painting was copied without the artist’s consent and she sued the state of Berlin.

Carmen Leidner-Heidrich, Niemandsland, 1997
Carmen Leidner-Heidrich, Niemandsland, 1997

The desert-like landscape in Leidner-Heidrich’s painting and the title “Niemandsland” (No man’s land) perhaps allude to the Berlin Wall and the adjacent border strip. Until the fall of the Wall, it was a restricted zone where only border guards were allowed to enter. Afterwards, it became a wasteland where people camped in construction trailers until they were ousted by investors. It is not clear whether the painting portrays a sunrise or a sunset. It can either be seen as an optimistic image of new beginnings or as a pessimistic scenario, according to the individual’s perception.

Leidner-Heidrich has said that her Wall painting “Niemandsland” (No man’s land) made her known as an artist. In 2000, she restored her work. Nine years later it was copied without her consent when the Gallery was restored for the second time. She had a studio in New York (United States) at the time, where she exhibited her paintings and photographs. Angered at the changes made to her work and the copying of her signature, she sued the state of Berlin for “unauthorised reproduction”.

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