Werner Mantz studied at the Bavarian State Academy for Photography, Munich 1920-21 before returning to Cologne where he opened a photography studio specializing in portraits and advertising. In 1926 he began to concentrate on architectural photography for which he has become justifiably best known. Mantz moved to the Netherlands in the 1930s where he remained (first in Maastricht and then Eijsden) until his death in 1983.
Mantz remains one of the great modernist architectural photographers. His work transcends simple documentation because of his exemplary understanding of the representation of objects in space and light. Working in Germany in the 1920s and early 30s with Cologne architects such as Riphahn, Bruno Paul, Mendelsohn, Schumacher and Wirminghaus, Mantz perfected his clear vision and superb printing technique.
Mantz's abilities with photography parallel those of August Sander and Karl Blossfeldt and prefigure the Bechers and their students. Mantz photographed each building, regardless of its function, in a non-hierarchical fashion always optimizing what might be considered its best points. The 'Fabrikhalle' is shot in the same way as the Gallery's existing Mantz photograph 'Glaspaleis (Schunck Department Store)' though one is literally a glass palace of consumerism and the other is a brick factory.
gelatin silver photograph, vintage
16.7 x 22.5 cm image; 17.1 x 23.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed verso, pencil "W. Mantz". Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by John and Kate Armati 2003
© Werner Mantz/Bild-Kunst. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 1 exhibition
Modernists: Selections from the European Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 07 Nov 2015–10 Jul 2016
Referenced in 1 publication
Kunsthaus Lempertz, From Bauhaus to Fotoform: vintage photographs from the 1920s to the 1950s - from a German private collection, Cologne, 15 Sep 2001, 88 (illus.). lot no. 128