Pressa at Night

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Werner Mantz (German, 1901–1983)
Pressa at Night, 1928
Gelatin silver print
mount: 6 5/8 × 8 3/4 in. (16.83 × 22.23 cm)
Purchase, with funds from Christine Symchych; the Photography Council; and the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund M2006.4
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Not Currently on View

A Cologne-based architectural photographer, Werner Mantz was well known for his images of buildings by pioneering modern architects such as Wilhelm Riphahn and Erich Mendelsohn. His intuitive understanding of modernism's formal tenets lends his photographs a visual acuity that matches, if not surpasses, the aesthetic ingenuity of his subjects, as demonstrated in this photograph. It depicts an exhibition pavilion built to house the offices of Cologne's photographically illustrated newspaper during a major international exhibition of modern publishing techniques. The event was notable for both its revolutionary graphic design and the architecturally innovative buildings that housed the exhibits. Mantz's animation of this modern, Bauhaus inspired structure is the most salient aspect of this image. Photographed at night, the severe geometry of the building's façade and the staccato rhythm of the cone-and-sphere shrubs are softened by electric lights that seem to illuminate the image from within.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.