The Boston Athenæum presents an exhibition by German fine arts photographer Thomas Kellner. "All Shook Up" opens on Feb. 13 and runs through April 19, 2008, in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery at The Boston Athenæum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street on Beacon Hill, near the State House. Admission is FREE and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mondays 9 am ― 8 pm, Tuesday through Friday 9 am ― 5:30 pm and Saturday 9 am ― 4 pm. For more information, call (617) 227-0270 or visit www.bostonathenaeum.org.
Known worldwide for his deconstructive/reconstructive architectural photographs, Thomas Kellner was invited to be the Athenæum's bicentennial artist-in-residence in 2006. His subjects have included such architectural icons as the Eiffel Tower, London Tower Bridge, Arc de Triomphe, Golden Gate Bridge, and Stonehenge. Here, the Athenæum’s Registered National Historic Landmark building at 10 ½ Beacon Street is his subject. Kellner’s time at the Athenæum was spent sketching and photographing the striking interior of the Library for its 200th anniversary. This exhibition showcases 16 large-scale color photographs of the Athenæum. Also on view are the artist’s notebook for the project and a portrait of the Library’s director, a rare instance of portraiture by this photographer. The exhibition has an accompanying fully-illustrated catalog with an introductory essay by Boston Athenæum Director Richard Wendorf. The catalog will be available for sale at the Athenæum for $20. The exhibition and catalog have been generously supported by the Susan Morse Hilles Bicentennial Fund.
The exhibition is curated by Sally Pierce, the Athenæum’s Curator of Prints and Photographs. “During its first 200 years, the Athenaeum interior has been photographed by many distinguished Boston photographers, including Baldwin Coolidge, Thomas E. Marr, George M. Cushing, Richard Cheek, Peter Vanderwarker, and Shellburne Thurber,” says Ms. Pierce. “Thomas Kellner’s vision animates these interior spaces in a new way. The classically symmetrical rooms are ‘all shook up’ with light and energy.”
With subversive irony, Kellner’s architectural photographs do not appear as the postcard-like pictures of iconic monuments we carry in our minds, nor can they be seen as images documenting pure form. His buildings are deconstructed into multiple fragments and reconstructed to assume an entirely new form. However, the ostensible interpretation of Kellner’s work as cubistic-fragmentarian montages is too narrow. In fact, his art explores the history of the photographic genre in a media-reflective way. Its essence lies in the fact that his large-scale color photographs are contact sheets composed of consecutively assembled filmstrips of a single shooting session. This implies that the conceptual process begins long before the camera is actually used: the fragmentation of the image initially takes place within the artist’s mind. As Richard Wendorf comments in the catalog essay, “Kellner’s photographs ask us to perform a variety of operations simultaneously as we attempt to fuse these dancing images into a more stable, more readily identifiable whole.”
Thomas Kellner was born in Germany in 1966, and studied art, sociology, politics and economics at the University of Siegen in Germany. He is the recipient of the Kodak Germany Young Professionals Prize, and was a visiting professor of fine art photography at the University of Giessen. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions in Germany, the United States, Brazil, and England, and he currently lives and works in Siegen, Germany.
Official Website: http://www.bostonathenaeum.org
Added by ashmont on February 11, 2008