Photobook, photobooks & exquisite issues

Thomas Kellner – Dancing Walls

The Photographic View on the Interior

This illustrated book from 2007 contains works by photo-artist Thomas Kellner where he concentrates on building’s interiors instead of facades. Kellner traveled to China, Mexico, Italy, UK and to the US, to capture interiors of for example museums and libraries in fragments. Each object’s individual architectural style and vibrant colors define the constitution of the images which were produced between 2003 and 2006. Among the objects you find diverse examples as the MCA in Chicago or the Hotel Mexico in Mexico City. The German and English introduction to Kellner’s work is given by Alison Nordström, curator of photography at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, USA.

„Kellner’s recent shift of subject from iconic architectural monuments to the quieter differently purposed spaces of museums, libraries, and palaces that have become concert venues has significant metaphorical implications though its irony remains. His early, somewhat distant images of monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the White House, and the Brandenburg gate often seemed intended to portray symbolic sites of power as they crumbled or exploded, manifesting Yeats’s apocalyptic vision that “Things fall apart. The center will not hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” Although still strikingly self-reflexive in terms of the photographic process, the new work, focusing on interiors and sites of cultural production, evokes a somewhat different feeling than the overtones of shattering destruction that characterized his treatment of iconic buildings and monuments. This gentler, more delicate work, suggests a harmonious and organic rhythm, which Kellner himself refers to as a “vibration” or a “dancing glance” that delineates a built space like a living, breathing being, and suggests, perhaps, the quiet human use it has been put to.”

Dancing Walls – the book

Order Dancing Walls now!

Order the book Dancing Walls now! Shipping Dancing Walls after payment usually within a week.

The special edition of Dancing Walls

This book was supported by selling one print in an edition of 30+3. The goilded staircase of Mexico City's postoffice got quite popular and the regular edition sold out quickly. Thank you to my collectors and to Expansion in Mexico for commissioning me this series on Mexico

Images of the special edition

Order your special edition of Dancing Walls

Order Dancing Walls special edition now! Shipping after payment usually within a week.

Detailed information about Thomas Kellner – Dancing Walls

Title:Thomas Kellner – Dancing Walls 2003–2006
Editor:Art Galerie Siegen, John Clearly Gallery Houston, K4 galerie Werner Deller, Schneider Gallery Chicago, in focus Galerie Cologne, Galerie Maurer Munich
Author:Alison Nordström
Photographer:Thomas Kellner
Content:80 pages, 38 plates
Size:20 x 20 cm, Hardcover
Language(s):German, English
Release Date:2007
Price:29,90 Euros
Edition of the special edition:30+3 copies
Price of the special edition:30 sold, next copy 2800,– Euros

What the press says about Dancing Walls

Book review: Dancing Walls in: amateur photographer 18 October 2008

If you love taking photographs of famous locations but are looking for something new, then Thomas Kellner could inspire you to shoot your top hotspots with a difference. Beware, though, as this photo adventure will cost a fortune in film – unless you do a digital cheat. Thomas is creating contemporary visions with style and class. As Alison Nordström says in the introduction, ‘ Kellner chose to make an image that could not for a moment be equated with the real thing, by moving his camera in a succession of  shots that he collectively combined to constitute both reference and an interpretation’. Kellner has captured every part of a scene like an eye darting from one area to the next. Often more than 100 images have contributed to the final print. (amateur photographer 18 October 2008, page 45)

Tanzende Wände in: PHOTOGRAPHIE, 11-2008 (Originally in German)

After September 11, 2001, Thomas Kellner's artistic future in the USA was written in the stars. No wonder, since his best-known photos show American skyscrapers disassembled into individual parts. But the abstract image mosaics received a great deal of attention after 9/11. And it remained highly exciting to observe Kellner's successful development: a new, unfortunately rather small-format volume presents lesser-known interior motifs by the German photographer

Nach dem 11. September 2001 stand Thomas Kellners künstlerische Zukunft in den USA in den Sternen. Kein Wunder, denn seine bekanntesten Fotos zeigen amerikanische Wolkenkratzer in Einzelteile zerlegt. Den abstrakten Bildmosaiken wurde aber nach 9/11 große Aufmerksamkeit zuteil. Und es blieb hochspannend, Kellners erfolgreiche Entwicklung zu beobachten: ein neuer, leider recht kleinformatiger Band stellt unbekanntere Interior-Motive des deutschen Fotografen vor. (PHOTOGRAPHIE, 11-2008, Seite 66)


Siegener Zeitung 2008-01-21 (Originally in German)

Tanzende Wände voller Poesie
Siegener Fotograf Thomas Kellner legt neues Buch vor

Poetic are these new works by Thomas Kellner, the internationally active fine art photographer working in Siegen. Poetic, very concentrated, calmer than some of his earlier works, these "dancing walls" appear.

"Dancing Walls" is the name of the new project, which is now available in book form (printed at Haus Vorländer), the design comes from the artist in collaboration with inspirit - graphicbureau (Thorsten Junge and Marc Babenschneider). The originally large-format images shine impressively from the black paper, inviting the viewer to take a visual walk through the world of images that Thomas Kellner has unfolded there.

Thomas Kellner seems to be on his way "inwards", according to the impression created when leafing through the very successful and attractively designed catalog. This is also reflected in the selection of motifs, as he shows courtyards (such as the new courtyard of the British Museum in London, which provided the impetus for the interior series), interiors, staircases, halls and libraries. A turbine factory from Deyang is also included. The deconstruction seems more thematically based than before, when formal aspects were more prominent. Here, in these works, for example, he sets "only" the stairs into great vibration, not the entire space, so that the viewer is largely left with architectural orientation, but experiences what visual energy is in the architecture! He discovers how the steps dance, how the walls absorb the movement of the steps (e.g. in the Palazzo Doria Tursi in Genoa), how the roof "leans towards" the viewer (Hearst Tower New York). But the viewer also experiences how the dancing images direct his gaze to the center of the architectural statement, for example in the cathedral, where his gaze is involuntarily drawn to the concentrated light that Thomas Kellner has condensed photographically. One looks upwards - an almost theological statement of architecture that makes Kellner's "focusing" conscious.

The irony, as Alison Nordström (curator of the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York) calls it in her introduction, the distance to the monumental object that wants and needs to impress with its size (power simply does not work without representation), however, remains, simply through the dissolution of the seemingly so solid structures through the image. It is only "refined" in the new works by an inherent questioning resulting from the structures themselves. Worth seeing! From January 25, the works can be seen in the Siegen Art Gallery, then the pictures tour to Houston, Saarbrücken, Munich, Chicago and Cologne.


gmz Siegen. Poetisch sind diese neuen Arbeiten von Thomas Kellner, dem in Siegen arbeitenden, international tätigen Fotokünstler. Poetisch, sehr konzentriert, ruhiger als manche seiner früheren Arbeiten wirken diese »tanzenden Wände«.

»Dancing Walls« heißt das neue Projekt, das jetzt in Buchform vorliegt (gedruckt im Haus Vorländer), der Entwurf stammt vom Künstler in Zusammenarbeit mit inspirit – graphicbureau (Thorsten Junge und Marc Babenschneider). Eindrucksvoll leuchten die, wie man unschwer erkennen kann, ursprünglich großformatigen Bilder von dem schwarzen Papier, laden zum visuellen Gang durch die Bildwelt ein, die Thomas Kellner da entfaltet hat.

Thomas Kellner scheint sich, so der Eindruck, der beim Blättern des sehr gelungenen und ansprechend gestalteten Kataloges entsteht, auf den Weg »nach innen« zu machen. Das spiegelt sich auch in der Motivauswahl wider, denn er zeigt Innenhöfe (wie den neuen Innenhof des British Museum in London, der Anstoß zur Innenraumserie gab), Innenräume, Treppen, Säle und Bibliotheken. Auch eine Turbinenfabrik aus Deyang ist dabei. Die Dekonstruktion scheint thematischer begründet als bislang, als formale Aspekte stärker im Vordergrund standen. Hier, in diesen Arbeiten, versetzt er beispielsweise »nur« die Treppe in große Schwingung, nicht den gesamten Raum, so dass dem Betrachter die architektonische Orientierung weitestgehend bleibt, er aber erlebt, welche visuelle Energie in der Architektur steckt! Er entdeckt, wie die Stufen tanzen, wie die Wände die Bewegung der Schritte aufnehmen (z.B. im Palazzo Doria Tursi in Genua), wie das Dach sich dem Betrachter »entgegenneigt« (Hearst Tower New York). Der Betrachter erlebt aber auch, wie die tanzenden Bilder seinen Blick auf das Zentrum der architektonischen Aussage lenken, z.B. in der Kathedrale, in der sein Blick unwillkürlich von dem konzentrierten Licht angezogen wird, das Thomas Kellner fotografisch verdichtet hat. Man schaut nach oben – eine fast theologische Aussage der Architektur, die Kellners »Fokussierung« bewusst macht.

Die Ironie, wie es Alison Nordström (Kuratorin des George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York) in ihrer Einführung nennt, die Distanz zum monumentalen Objekt, das mit seiner Größe beeindrucken will und muss (Macht funktioniert eben nicht ohne Darstellung), bleibt allerdings erhalten, allein durch die Auflösung der scheinbar so festen Strukturen durch das Bild. Sie wird nur in den neuen Arbeiten durch eine sich aus den Strukturen selbst ergebende, also inhärente Infragestellung »verfeinert«. Sehenswert! Vom 25. Januar an sind die Arbeiten in der Siegener Art Galerie zu sehen, anschließend touren die Bilder nach Houston, Saarbrücken, München, Chicago und Köln.


Thank you to Alison Nordström for writing this wonderful essay, to Marc Babenschneider for the design and Druckerei Vorlaender for printing. And most thank you to Artgalerie, in focus gallery, Schneider Gallery and John Cleary Gallery for supporting this book.