Reception: Thursday, March 15, 6-8pm
In his debut exhibition at Robert Mann Gallery, Jörn Vanhöfen presents large format color photographs from his
recent body of work, Aftermath. Although his subject is perhaps best characterized as human interventions in the
landscape and the structures of civilization, Vanhöfenʼs images evince a psychological range extending beyond more
familiar conceptions of post-New Topographics landscape photography. Not mere documents, these grand tableaus
function as visual metaphors: allegories of architecture and the complex dynamic between nature and culture.
Searching pictures, they suggest that amidst the decay and abandonment that all is not disconsolate and beyond
redemption. Indeed, wit and awe appear in equal measure with outrage and condemnation. In one image from the
series, a disconsolate apartment building, initially appearing passed over by the intractable advances of modernity,
seems uninhabitable, until one notices the plume of smoke rising from the chimney – the sign of presence and
beacon of persistence.
From sublime vertiginous vistas to restrained views on structures of refuse and ruin, Vanhöfen charts the effects of
social drives that have globally propelled development and the pursuit of wealth. A peripatetic artist, Vanhöfen travels
the world over, arriving at pictures that convey the tumult of the 21st century. Whether the harried trading floor of a
Chicago commodities exchange or the humble structures of another era sequestered in the lee of freeway
overpasses, Aftermath is sensitively attuned to the complex network of market and social forces. Mining the aesthetic
and philosophical legacies of Romanticism, the artist deftly plays on established conventions while updating them to
the concerns of the global present.
Formally complex, the photographs are remarkable for the restraint as much as the drama in the treatment of their
subjects, a characteristic that carries over to the artistʼs delicate appreciation for the subtleties of chemical (as
opposed to digital) printing. Stunning in their visual appeal and the artfulness of the photographerʼs craft, the images
that comprise Aftermath depict a world unsettled, but not decimated.
Hatje Cantz published a catalogue of works in the series Aftermath in 2011.
Jörn Vanhöfen was born in Dinslaken, Germany in 1961. After initial studies in photography at the Folkwangschule
Essen, he received his masterʼs degree at the Hochscule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. He has participated in
exhibitions all over the world, including in Berlin, London, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Mexico City, and Havana. In addition to
his own photographic output, Vanhöfen is an accomplished curator, critic, and educator. Vanhöfen lives in Berlin and
View Jörn Vanhöfen: Aftermath online at www.robertmann.com beginning March 15, 2012.
Robert Mann Gallery is located at 210 Eleventh Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets, Floor 10. Hours are
Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm. For additional information and press materials, please contact the gallery by
telephone (212.989.7600) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).