“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

Thomas Kellner Black & White

Starting in January 2016, German and international galleries will be presenting my new exhibition “Black & White”. Silver gelatin tableaux made between 1997 and 2005 will be on display. In this exhibition, I recall my  beginnings as an artist and my roots in black-and-white photography using the analog gelatin silver process.


Black-and-white photography first became widespread in 1871 and developed into the first large-scale visual medium in cultural history. It was the dominant form of photography for almost 60 years before color photography was introduced. Those who have followed Kellner’s photography over the years know that most of his works have been published and exhibited in color. However, there was a time when Kellner worked in black and white.


In a time when many artists are returning to black-and-white photography, I am looking back on this period of his life. Even though most of his black-and-white works were never published, they do reflect his early career when he worked mostly in silver gelatin and experimented with cycles of various photographic images in the darkroom. I ended up developing my unique visual language of multiple perspectives and the deconstructive approach whereby the composite image is either a multiple exposure on a negative or a sequence mounted on a contact sheet of 35-mm roll of film.


Starting with my first sketches of the Eiffel Tower as a homage to Robert Delaunay and Orphism (the French offshoot of cubism) in Paris in 1997, I totally turned my attention from landscape to architecture and the growing complexity of my compositions. I created ageless classic images in his newly invented visual language based on Cubism. In my early black-and-white images, the observer can see how I focuse on the structure itself. The balance between the object and its visual form are at the center of his creations.


My original concept was to create images with 36 exposures equaling one length of film. Later, I moved on to using two or more rolls. The exhibition will show iconic black-and-white images from San Francisco, New York City and Chicago for the first time. It also will have some larger scale works on show- for example, an impressive image of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.


On exhibit will be a selection of 40 of Kellner’s best black-and-white images to start on January 16, 2016 in Cologne and then Siegen. The presentation will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Harris Fogel and published by Seltmann+söhne, Lüdenscheid and Berlin. The “Black & White” project is being financed by crowdfounding on kickstarter.com.


critical mass Top 50, 2016


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


Kellner, T., Mathieu, R. 2017, Contacts N & B 1997-2005. Lyon, Galerie Vrais Reves. >>>

What people say

"When I view Kellner’s early black-and-white silver-gelatin contact sheets, there seems to me a linkage to Sander’s obsession with picturing the whole rather than a fictional misrepresentation, as well as to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s precise sequential typologies of industrial architecture." FOGEL, H., 2015. Black & White 1997 - 2005. Lüdenscheid/Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.

"The images are comical, whimsical, challenging, and unpretentious. They communicate a passionate enthusiasm that is also an apt description of Kellner’s personality." FOGEL, H., 2015. Black & White 1997 - 2005. Lüdenscheid/Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.

"Architecture that dances. Buildings that deconstruct, reconnect, dissected by frames, twisted into unreasonable shapes, reassembled into yet another grid, and then printed with more than a hint of Cubism, trying to take something that is three-dimensional and flatten it onto a two-dimensional plane. Indeed, as we can see, even in this early work Thomas Kellner succeeded at breaking apart space." FOGEL, H., 2015. Black & White 1997 - 2005. Lüdenscheid/Berlin: Seltmann+Söhne.



"Why, Kellner was wondering, […] why did photography in its more than 150-year-old history not succeed in escaping from the central perspective, a world perspective from the Renaissance." Langer, Freddy. "Ein Turm beginnt zu tanzen." FAZ 14th January 2016: 6. Print.


"Because now the eye roams over the fragments, piece by piece, sheer single frames and often enough beautifully composed by a gracious fortuitousness." Langer, Freddy. "Ein Turm beginnt zu tanzen." FAZ 14th January 2016: 6. Print.


December 6, 2018 - January 5, 2019
Gao Xiaohua Museum, Chengdu, Peoples Republic of China

November 24 -29, 2018
Photo BaoHe Festival, Hefei, Peoples Republic of China


December 7, 2017 - January 31, 2018
Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Reykjavik, Iceland


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


May 5 - 28, 2017
Kunstverein Tauberbischofsheim, Germany


March 18 - April 30, 2017
Galerie Vrais Reves, Lyon, France


January 15 - 29, 2017
Kunstverein Bad Camberg, Germany


April 17 - June 18, 2016
Artgalerie, Siegen, Germany


January 16 - March 19, 2016
infocus Galerie, Burkhard Arnold, Cologne, Germany


Gerwers,T.,2017. Kunstverein Tauberbischofsheim. In: ProfiFoto, No. 5, Mai 2017, p. 54. >>>

Heinen, W., 2017. Black & White. In: PhotoKlassik, No. 3, Juli 2017, p. 54-57. >>>

Langer, F., 2016. Ein Turm beginnt zu tanzen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11, p. R6. >>>

Massardo E., 2017. Arte Al Limite. Santiago de Chile. Arte Al Limite Ltda..  p.68-73 >>>

Kotzan. A., 2016. Thomas Kellner in der in focus Galerie, Köln Tanzende Architekturen. Schwarzweiss das Magazin für Fotografie, 110, pp. 72-73. >>>

Höge, T., 2016. Kontaktaufnahme. fotoMagazin, 3/16, pp.8-9. >>>

Neuwirth, K., 2016. Fotokunst Ausstellungshighlights. kunsttermine, Der Ausstellungsanzeiger, 1/16, p. 29, 37, 150. >>>

Fayed, I,, 2016. Agenda Ausstellungen. Leica Fotografie International, 2/2016, p.89. >>>

thank you to my supporters of Black & White in my studio and on kickstarter

Abe Frajndlich, Adriana Groisman, Albrecht Thomas, Alison Stieven-Taylor, Andreas Fischer, Andreas Stein, Anja Mohr, Anne Weyhing, Anne-France ABILLON, Armin Menzel, Arno Schneider und Sara Robles Romero, Artgalerie, Helga Oberkalkofen, Bob Kubiak, Carlos Lopez, Catherine Aboumrad, Charles Mintz, Christian F. Kocherscheidt, Claudine Bourles, Craig Alan Huber, Daniel Schumann, David Rifkind, Dorothea Linden, Elaine Duigenan, Elisabeth Kellner, Elisabeth Ohrendorf, Elizabeth Siegfried, Falk von Traubenberg, Frauke Tuppeck, Freddy Langer, Gesche Wuerfel, Guido Schmidt, Hans-Werner Bieler, Herr und Frau Kötting, Ingo Schultze-Schnabl, Ingrid Tielsch, Jane Paradise, Joan Morgenstern, Jochen Dietrich, Jörg Neuenhausen und Insa Brandl, Johann-Peter Schäfer, Josef Aengenvoort, Judy Gelles, Jutta Schmidt-Berrang, Katharina Dinter, Kathryn Dunlevie, Ken Rosenthal, Kerstin Bethge, Hubertus Koch, Laura Heyman, Laura Nolden, Loli Kantor, Ludmila Steckelberg de Santana, Luzia Linden, Marc Babenschneider, Marc Baruth, Mariette Pathy Allen, Marina Knötzinger, Marita Holdaway, Markus von Gruenigen, Martin Gaevert, Martin Teichert, Mary Virginia Swanson, Michael Bolus und Maria Freericks, Michel Varisco, Nelly Thomas, Peter Wiklund, Philipp Bojahr, Rachel Papo, Ralf Markus Gräwe, Rebecca Webb, Roswitha Bieber, Sabine Heinke, Sandra Chen Weinstein, Sian Bonnell, Städtische Galerie Iserlohn, Rainer Danne, Terrie Fleckenstein, Thomas Fischer, Thomas Kind und Christine Müller, Thorsten Junge, Tracey Snelling, Ulrich Timmermann, Ursula Wagener, Galerie Vrais Rêves, Raymond Viallon und Rémy Mathieu, William Forde, Winfried Hofmann