Designed by architect Oswald Mathias Ungers, the Galerie der Gegenwart (Gallery of Contemporary Art) opened in Hamburg in 1997. According to Alexander Klar, director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, it is “a minimal music composition cast in stone, made up of squares that are reflected in rows of windows, tiled floors, the white façade, the neon squares of the ceiling lighting, and the spatial proportions of the rooms”. To mark the gallery’s twenty-fifth anniversary, the Kunsthalle invited photographer Thomas Florschuetz to take pictures of the building that would convey its distinctive regularity: architecture as effect, aspiration, and reality. It is his keen eye for the interplay of light and forms in this architecture that sets Thomas Florschuetz’s work apart and characterizes his visual language. His photographs observe the building’s permeability, yet they do not depict it, but rather describe its effect in analogies, recesses, and omissions. Dissected into individual observations, the building now emerges as a collection of motifs, which one would miss behind its monolithic appearance, were it not for the fact that Florschuetz captures and shares them with us.
Thomas Florschuetz, born in Zwickau in 1957, lives and works in Berlin.