Studio of the German Fine Art Photographer Thomas Kellner

Thomas Kellner's fine art photography changes the object of the image and questions what we see. This continuous reinvention of himself and of the formal method always leads to new options for interpretation. 

A selection of Thomas Kellner's work shows analog compositions from the period of 1997 to 2023. Beginning from the idea of Cubism after Delaunay, he transfers the international movement of Deconstructivism from architecture to photography today. He photographs buildings, deconstructs and fragments them and assembles them into a heterogeneous conglomerate of forms. And yet, his famous montages of architectural attractions and architectural icons in cubist contact sheets like the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge or the Great Wall of China,  are just one type of his multifaceted works. He uses to change our perspective and link art to our thinking. Prof. Irina Chmyreva from the Academy in Moscow defined his work as "visual analytical synthesis".

His numerous pinhole camera projects, including portraits, demonstrate that an image cannot be planned. Each portrait is unique and reveals a new side of photography to its viewer. Documentary photography however, not only mirrors a changing culture and society, but also bears witness to an evolving photographic art in the medium of photography. Kellner's architectural photography opens up a view of the polarity of a building. The appraisal and condemnation of the subject's emerging changes is as dualistic as the architectural entity itself. Whether collage, typology or installation, his works play with our perception: they show us only fragments and then again, the whole. They always open up new points of view. 

German artist Thomas Kellner was born in Bonn, Germany in 1966. He studied art, sociology, politics and economics at the University of Siegen. In 1996 he received the Kodak Young Talent Award, which encouraged him to live as an artist. Since then, Kellner has been living in Siegen as a photographer and curator of photographic exhibition projects. In 2003 he was appointed to the German Society for Photography (DGPh).
Thomas Kellner has shown his work in solo exhibitions in Germany, Australia, Russia, China, France, Poland, Denmark and the USA since 2002. He has been involved in numerous group exhibitions and publications. His works are represented in important private and public collections. Those are for example Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, United Kingdom, George Eastman House, Rochester, USA, Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, USA, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, among others.

Thomas Kellner's work has been shown worldwide

Selected solo exhibitions

2023 in focus Galerie, Cologne, Germany
2022 VisuleX Gallery for Photography, Hamburg, Germany
2021 Art Galerie, Siegen, Germany
2019 Spectrum Sotos, Zaragoza, Spain
Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía, Almería, Spain
American Museum, Bath, United Kingdom 
2018 Gao Xiaohua Museum, Chengdu, China
Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2017 Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Reykjavik, Iceland
The Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock, United Kingdom
2015 Ballarat International Photobiennale, Ballarat, Australia
2014 photovisa, Krasnodar, Russian Federation
Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China
Galerie Vrais Reves, Lyon, France
Galeria Sztuki, Zakopane, Poland
2013 Metenkow House Museum of Photography, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation
2012 Lishui Museum of Photography, Lishui, China
2010 Deutsches Glasmalereimuseum, Linnich, Germany
ECCO,  Brasília, Brazil
2009 Galerie Poller, Frankfurt, Germany
2008 The Boston Athenaeum, Boston, USA
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, USA
John Cleary Gallery, Houston, USA
2006 Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Cohen Amador Gallery, New York, USA
2005 Galleri Image, Aarhus, Denmark
Galeria Athos Bulcao, Brasilia, Brazil
2004 Neuer Kunstverein Giessen, Germany
2003 Rosenberg & Kaufmann Fine Art, New York, USA
2002 Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, USA


2016 Award of Excellence, The 2nd International Industrial Photography Festival, Shenyang, Tiexi, Peoples Republic of China
Critical Mass Top 50, Portland, Orego, USA
2009 Award of Excellence, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, Peoples Republic of China
4th Fine Art Award by the district Government of Dueren county, Germany
1996 Kodak-Award for Young Professional, Stuttgart, Germany

Selected group exhibitions

2021 Fresh, Klompching Gallery New York, USA
2020 Building dialogs, AMA, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C., USA
Schupmann Collection – Westgerman photography, Museum im Kulturspeicher, Würzburg, Germany
2019 Doações, Museo Nacional da República, Brasília, Brazil
2018 Remembering Landscape, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania
Analog Schwarzweiss, Fotografie in Westdeutschland 1945 bis 2000 aus der Sammlung Schupmann, Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany
Landschaft, die sich erinnert, Museum of Contemporary Art, Siegen, Germany
A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day, Marshall Fine Art Center, Haverford PA, USA
2017 Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, United Kingdom
The Unusual Westlake, China Academy of Art Museum, Hangzhou, Peoples Republic of China
2016 There was a whole collection made: Photography from Lester and Betty Guttman, SMART Museum, Chicago, IL, USA
Ao amor do público I - Doações da ArtRio (2012-2015) e MinC/Funarte, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Die Grosse 2016, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany
2015 gifts from Nancy and Tom O’Neil, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, USA
Timeframes, Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, Australia
The Aleppo International Photography Festival 2015, Aleppo, Syria
2014 The Mechanical Corps. On the trails of Jules Verne, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
Poetics of Light, New Mexico Museum of History, Santa Fe New Mexico, USA
2013 The Pierce Collection, The Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii, USA
After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, USA
The Fogel Collection: A Collection Within a Collection, Marshall Fine Arts Center Atrium Gallery , Haverford College, Haverford, Philadelphia, USA
2011 Fotografías - Coleção Joaquim Paiva, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Unburied Treasures, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, USA
2010 Blind Field: Photography and Place, Silverlens Gallery, Manila, Philipins
Madrid Oh Cielos!, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain
2009 170 Jahre Fotografie, Kamera- und Fotomuseum Leipzig, Germany
2008 A mind at play, The Art Institute of Chicago, USA
2007 Tower - Idea, Identity, Icon , Hearst Tower, New York, USA
Thought Provoking - Sense Provoking, Noorderlicht Gallery, Groningen, The Netherlands
2006 Recent Aquisitions,The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, USA
2005 New to View, Recent Aquisitions in Photography, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA, USA
scatti eoropeei, Fondazione Carige, Genua, Italy
2004 monument recall, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, USA
Pieced Together: Photomontages from the Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, USA
Ars & Archittetura 1900-2000, Palazzo Ducale, Genua, Italy
2003 Narrascape, The New Art Gallery Walsall, United Kingdom
2002 Vues d’architecture, Musée de Grenoble, France

Selected public collections

Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, United Kingdom
George Eastman House, Rochester, USA
Haverford Collection, Haverford, Philadelphia, USA
Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA
Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
New Mexico Museum of History, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, USA
The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The Boston Athenaeum, Boston, USA
The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, USA
The Hood Museum, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Selected Monographs

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Siegerländer Künstlerinnen und Künstler e.V., ed. (2016) 2016. Thomas Kellner: Tango Metropolis. 2500th ed. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
Arnold, Burkhard, and Rainer Danne, eds. 2001. Thomas Kellner: Monumente. Köln: Locher.
Art Galerie, Siegen, John Cleary Gallery, Houston, K4 galerie Werner Deller, Saarbrücken, Galerie Maurer, München, Schneider Gallery, in focus Galerie, Burkhard Arnold, Köln, ed. 2007. Thomas Kellner: Dancing Walls 2003-2006. Siegen.
Galerie Vrais Rêves, ed. 2014. Thomas Kellner: Contacts 1997-2013. With the assistance of R. Mathieu and R. Viallon. Lyon.
———, ed. 2017. Thomas Kellner: Contacts N & B 1997-2005. With the assistance of R. Mathieu and R. Viallon: Galerie Vrais Rêves.
Galleri Image, ed. 2005. Thomas Kellner: Tango Metropolis. With the assistance of B. Cegielska and L. Wolthers. Århus.
Kellner, Thomas, ed. 1998. Thomas Kellner: Deutschland - Blick nach draußen. 1. Aufl. Siegen: mrd A. Pfeifer + O. Homrich gbr.
———, ed. 2000. Thomas Kellner: 11-Loch-Arbeiten 1993-1997. Siegen: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2012. Wir sind von Idealbildern umgeben: Dirk Josef Müller interviewt Thomas Kellner. Siegen: Ars-Victoria-Verl.
———, ed. 2013. Thomas Kellner: Genius Loci - Zwei Siegener Im Zarenland. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2014. Thomas Kellner: Kontakt. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2015. Thomas Kellner: Black & White 1997-2005.  Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2018. Thomas Kellner: Flucticulus. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2019. All shook up: Thomas Kellner's America. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2019. Visuell analytsche Synthese. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
Kreis Düren, ed. 2010. Thomas Kellner FarbWelt 135-36: Kunstpreis des Kreises Düren. Düren: Kreis Düren.
Metenkov House Museum of Photography, ed. 2014. Thomas Kellner: genius loci. Jekaterinburg.
Netto, Karla Osorio, ed. 2010. Thomas Kellner. Brasilia: Editora ARP Brasil.
———, ed. 2010. Thomas Kellner: Brasilia - 50 Anos De Utopia Moderna. Brasilia: Editora ARP Brasil.
Seltmann, Oliver, ed. 2020. Thomas Kellner – the Big Picture. Lüdenscheid, Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.
———, ed. 2021. Thomas Kellner – Fachwerkhäuser Des Siegener Industriegebietes Heute. Berlin: SeltmannPublishers.
———, ed. 2022. Monumente: Gesammelte Texte Zum Werk Von Thomas Kellner. Berlin: Seltmann Publishers.
———, Oliver, ed. 2022. Thomas Kellner: Chapel Schools. In the footsteps of the Nassau Counts William I and John VI. Berlin: SeltmannPublishers.
WestLotto Münster, ed. 2021. Tango Metropolis. Berlin: SeltmannPublishers.


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