Fine Art Typology of the Framework Houses

Thomas Kellner – Half-timbered houses of the Siegen industrial area today

Siegen Documentary photography, half-timbered houses from the region around Siegen, timeless images of culture and society in the Siegerland region. This list seems to allude inevitably to the well-known works of Bernd and Hilla Becher, their photographs of half-timbered buildings and industrialised architecture.

Kellner works on the typology of half-timbered houses

Since 2015, however, the statements also fit the Siegen artist Thomas Kellner, who follows in the footsteps of the Bechers in staging house fronts. In a series of 19 architectural photographs, the artist shows selected Eiserfeld half-timbered houses in their current state. As a historical comparison, he contrasts the Bechers' black-and-white photographs of the 1960s with his own images. Without limiting the recognizable connection between the two works, Kellner gives the fine art photographs his own signature and plays "with the transformation into black and white, the shadowing, the focus on details that remain in color, the dreamy blur in the background." In this way, his photographs act as independent artworks of regional living and in parallel fulfill a comparative function.

Living culture and artistic photography in transition

By revealing motivic and methodological differences to the Bechers in direct comparison, similar to a search picture, Kellner's typology of works is not only a mirror of a changing residential culture and part of social and residential history, but also testimony to an evolving, artistic photography. Kellner's fine art photographs open up a view of the polarity of a building that has been altered by visual modernization measures over time and resembles the original building only in form. The appraisal and condemnation of the emerging changes in the subject is as dualistic as the architectural structure itself.

Fine Art Photography of Magical Realism

However, there is no mistaking that the typology of the half-timbered houses of 2015 lost identity and were to some extent "deprived of their expression," but in Kellner's fine art work they return to a magical realism.


Thomas Kellner – The laf-timbered houses of the Siegen industrial area today
February 14 – May 1, 2021
Art Galerie, Siegen, Germany

opening February14,  2021 at 11 AM on Zoom

Introduction by Dr. Andrea Gnam

Art Galerie, Fürst-Johann-Moritz-Str. 1, 57072 Siegen, Germany

Will be open after lockdown during normal opening hours

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Seltmann Publishers/Berlin

See the exhibition online

Here you can see more of the exhibition at Art Galerie