Gabrielle Ammann on Helene Binet
To coincide with the opening today of The Salon Art + Design show in New York, Gabrielle Ammann of the famous Cologne based Ammann Gallery, explains her fascination for the photography of Helene Binet. Helene, a Londoner and an advocate of analogue photography working only with film, is the recipient this year of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award, confirming her status as one of the world’s leading architectural photographers.
I have been working with Zaha Hadid for many years, and while preparing a solo exhibition of her design pieces at my gallery back in 2007, I bought all the books I could find about her work to be well prepared. Among those books I found a beautiful black and white photography book, called “Architecture of Zaha Hadid in Photographs by Helene Binet” and from the first view I was completely mad about her work.
Zaha Hadid’s office kindly gave me her contact, I called Helene and told her that I MUST show her photographs in my gallery. This is how it all started, and since then I show her work in the gallery as well as in international fairs like The Pavillion of Arts and Design (PAD), Design Miami and The Salon: Art + Design every year.
Helene Binet has been photographing contemporary architecture for more than twenty years and co-operated with the most renowned architects like Daniel Libeskind, Studio Mumbai, Peter Zumthor and many others; but she has also photographed the works of past architects including Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier. She really captures the uniqueness of architecture in her photographs through light and shadow, textures, corners and curves. That interpretation of space is what elevates her work from documentation to a work of art. Helene Binet only works with film so each photograph is the result of careful study and insight into each building.
We are not the typical photography gallery but our programme has always been about the intersection of art, design and architecture. We are one of the most important avant-garde galleries worldwide; we not only exhibit iconic contemporary design/art, but we also cultivate the best emerging talents from around the globe. I also have a background in interior architecture so Helene Binet’s work has a particular resonance for me.
This year has been extraordinary for Helene Binet as well as for the gallery, her work has gained international acclaim and acknowledgment. She was part of the “Constructing Worlds” exhibition at the Barbican, celebrating architectural photography alongside other great artists like Iwan Baan, Andreas Gursky and Ed Ruscha. Furthermore, it was recently announced that she will be the recipient of the prestigious Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award in 2015. Which confirms her status as one of the best architectural photographers in the world.
The Ammann Gallery that Gabrielle founded in 2006 as a permanent platform for her artists and designers, has since gone on to establish a world wide reputation. Born and brought up in Basel, Switzerland, Gabrielle began as an interior architect before launching her Designer’s Agency, that was first to introduce the work of Marc Newson, Ron Arad and Milan based Studio Alchimia to Germany. It wasn’t long before the Agency evolved into the leading gallery that it is today. One of her first solo exhibitions was on the work of Zaha Hadid and as she describes it “a visible architectural presence” is the connection between most of the works that she represents. Her gallery is also distinguished by the deliberate blurring of boundaries between art and design, and although this may prove to be a headache for future art historians, the market is increasingly recognising and welcoming this development with shows such as The Salon Art + Design in New York, PAD London and Paris and Design Miami and Basel.
The Ammann Gallery is showing the work of Helene Binet and other artists and designers at The Salon Art + Design in New York, November 14-17, 2014
Main image © Hélène Binet, ‘Steilneset Witch Trial Memorial, Vardø, Norway‘.
Photography supplied courtesy of ammann//gallery
“Helene Binet has emerged as one of the leading architectural photographers in the world. Every time Helene Binet takes photograph, she exposes architecture’s achievements, strength, pathos and fragility.” Daniel Libeskind
Watch this film of Helene Binet talking about her photography at Harvard University.