The Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey

‘Fractured Architecture, Cubist Photographs’

An exhibition of cubist inspired photographs, the work of German artist Thomas Kellner, opens at the National Trust Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock from Saturday 24 June.

Consider a mashup of the old saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and the song ‘Everything Old is New Again’ and you will begin to see the world as Thomas Kellner depicts it.

Thomas is known for his photographs of seemingly dancing architectural exteriors of familiar structures from all over the world. Even though his photographs show well known buildings whose ‘straight’ pictures would be immediately recognisable, his work is unique due to the artistic method he calls ‘visual analytical synthesis’ in which he does not take one shot but a number of thoughtfully planned ones in order to create a picture out of contact sheets. His work is often referred to as Cubism as his creative process includes a construction but with the results resembling a deconstruction.

‘I think I am more of an artist than a photographer.’ says Thomas. ‘At the moment I am working on architecture, but it is not classic architectural photography. There are definitions in art about ‘construction/deconstruction’ or ‘collage/decollage,’ but I don’t think any of it really fits what I am doing right now, maybe my work is closer to conceptual art or conceptual photography. Many have said it is ‘very German,’ and that might be closer.’

Thomas’ work imitates the wandering look of the eye, showing segments of the total which come together as one image. His photographs do not necessarily deconstruct architecture but instead reconstruct our view of it.  Thomas has developed his own unique visual language of multiple perspectives whereby the finished image is a sequence mounted on a contact sheet of 35-mm roll of film and sometimes, two or more rolls.

Fractured Architecture
June 23 - September 15, 2017
The Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, England, UK

Lacock is near Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 2LG

“Who would have thought that so much wonder could still be created with straight photographs in a time given to digital manipulation?” Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune

Kellner, T., Fogel, H. 2015, Black & White. Lüdenscheid/Berlin, seltmann+söhne. >>>

thank you to Roger Watson and the National Trust and the team at Lacock Abbey for hosting my show at the birthplace of photography.
A very special thank you to Liz and Skip Kohloff from Denver sending me this way in 2003, when I was in Cardiff. They told me how close Lacock was and made me photograph here. Thank you to Alasdair Foster to put me in contact to Roger Watson at the Fox Talbot Museum.

visitor comments

  • I liked the pictures in different pieces. But you can still see what it is.
  • My children and I absolutely loved the Cubist pictures and the camera obscura
  • It was inspiring and it made me happy because the buildings were messed up.
  • Liked the exhibition. Would have liked a photo of the building as it is – beside the fragmented image, as not all the buildings are familiar.
  • Fractured architecture exhibit. The artworks really make you appreciate the architecture in a new way by presenting them completely different to the images we see so often. Very interesting and a great exhibition.
  • I thought the concept of the photograph strip – perception was interesting – but after a view of a line of images – the visual eye ‘gets’ it and begins to see cliché and repetition. I think these contact strips could be pushed much further – as in Cubism to total breakdown. The eyes are much cleverer than these images allow for!
  • I found the photos absolutely amazing.
  • I didn’t enjoy the ‘cubism’ exhibition, I thought it was a waste of valuable museum space. Put upstairs popular photographs, not today’s elitist display.
  • The tiny cute photo of a bridge. I loved trying to guess what it was!
  • Can’t believe my eyes! Have just been to Specsavers so they are ok. A laugh. Friend of (Ladies Loos) Lacock.
  • Fascinating photos! Very clever. Would not like to do this as a jigsaw!
  • Loved the Fox Talbot Museum, especially loved the Fractured photography exhibition. Brilliant!
  • The museum because the strange mixed-up pictures were interesting and different. I liked looking around the abbey.
  • A complete waste of my time walking up to see the photo exhibition. It could have been used for something useful.
  • I really liked the wonky photos, I thought they were crazy.
  • Exhibition rather disappointing with a rather ‘gimmicky’ technique that attempts to offer a new way of ‘seeing’ but had little to offer.
  • I loved the fractured architecture as it was very mind blowing.
  • Fractured architecture by Thomas Kellner: A wonderful exhibition; superb photographs very nicely displayed!
  • Yes – absolute disaster that there are not more postcards of the exhibition! One of the weaker photos, priced at £1 per card, is horrendous. A significant oversight.
  • I would argue that photos capture an instance of time. The pictures on display may be of quality in the context of artistry but I feel that they miss that instance of time that the camera can portray.
  • That you still know what they are. I’d like it if they were more jiggled up.
  • The weird pictures!
  • Fractured architecture by Thomas Kellner – not sure I understand why the artist chose to include in the images the frame by frame data. Could not see an explanation of this anywhere and we end up viewing the assembled image through a distracting grid.
    I really like the fractured architecture exhibit, very abstract and original
  • Kellner’s photographs are curious and disorientating, and interesting statement about some iconic buildings, e.g. the White House or La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona