Libraries are both shelters and places of escape. It is this feeling that German photographer Reinhard Görner has been exploring for many years, in search of the most beautiful and solemn reading rooms around the world.
Intimate libraries nestled in the heart of secluded abbeys or grandiose halls of prestigious universities, for the German artist, these rooms are an inexhaustible reservoir of inspiration. Let yourself be transported through architectures, styles and eras in this portrait of Reinhard Görner, a self-taught artist with a multifaceted and contagious passion. As an architectural photographer, Reinhard worked for many years for architects before deciding to focus on his passion. His goal is to explore how the great masters of architecture have created spaces that breathe beauty and silence by playing with shadows, light, proportions, rhythms. He quickly discovered that libraries have always been and still are wonderful playgrounds for architects, allowing them to focus on the question of form and emptiness: "I see myself as an ambassador trying to convey the spirit of these builders with my photographic means".
The artist photographed and fell in love with his first library in 2005, as he was working with architect Sir Norman Foster and captured the philological library of Berlin’s Frei Universität. Since then, the cathedral-like atmosphere of New York’s Rose main reading room made a long-lasting impact on the artist and he started to intensify his documentation of libraries across the world. Görner’s photographs seek to convey the impact architecture has on our awareness of life : the libraries he captures open spaces, tell stories and refer to a time when one’s sense of aestethics and sense of space were identical. Görner’s photos refer to the vastness great architecture has been celebrating throughout history, bringing to mind historical periods where beauty and tranquility meet. His work pays a tribute to the Becher art school. Like other disciples’ – Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff and Candida Höfer – Görner’s work is strictly conceptual, combined with a fine technical approach. All their works demonstrate the same fascination for typology and record the heritage of the western cultural and industrial past.