Bernhard Hartmann

Library Stuttgart Floor

About this photograph

After his series dedicated to the representation of the most famous operas in Germany, Bernhard Hartmann chose to photograph the municipal library of Stuttgart inaugurated in 2011. The resolutely contemporary building was the creation of the German-Korean architectural cabinet Eun Young Yi. A monolithic cube on the outside, the interior spaces are stacked on top of large galleries, based on a square floor plan. Both conceptual and functional, the interior space is completely white, and only the spines of books add colour. The simple, direct and radiant architecture contributes to its identity as a public library, open to all, and distances it from the model of the elitist institute. With a perfectly frontal shot, Bernhard Hartmann chose to emphasise the symmetry of the building. The photographer was able to appropriate the space, empty of all human presence and thus endowed with a timeless character. He insists on the solemnity of the site, and stresses the symbol that the library represents as both a spiritual site and the seat of knowledge. 

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The Artist
Bernhard Hartmann

Born in Frankfurt in 1955, Bernhard Hartmann began his artistic career at the age of 18 as a press photographer for a German newspaper. Self-taught, he studied art and became a landscape photographer after discovering this medium with the aid of his parents? Polaroid. He creates dramatic and cinemascopic images that are often compared to the Romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, but also to the dramatic natural scenes by English painter William Turner. He prefers to photograph places where the arts are practised and expressed and thus presents series on operas, theatres, or European manors. A lawyer in Munich, Bernard Hartmann now lives near Lake Starnberg in the Bavarian Alps. His works belong to numerous private collections and have been shown in the United States, Spain, Italy, and Germany. He was elected ?Photographer of the Year? by a Swiss magazine and won the ?American Black-and-White Photo Awards? as well as the ?Panoramic Epson Award?.

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