For Tobias Grewe, building are like personalities, each unique in its own special way. Among these are, of course, the "Top Models", with which international architects seek to realise their full creative potential. Such examples can be found in abundance in the so-called emerging markets, especially in China. The Rhineland, on the other hand, and especially Cologne, is much more modest and low-key. When star architects are at work here, they tend to design and build more quiet structures, which fit into their immediate environment without attracting unnecessary attention.

As a photographer, Tobias Grewe is fascinated less by the architects themselves or those who commission them, but rather much more by the small details and characteristic features, where one often has to take a second glance in order to discover what, in the end, makes the building so special. It is usually the small details that capture his attention and help him to reveal the complexity and harmony of the structure, be it an upward vertical glance into the core of a spiral staircase or overlapping balconies that only reveal their full aesthetic character from certain specific perspectives and thus cannot be seen by mere passers-by. Grewe's "second glance" is highly intuitive and informs his work on many levels.

Tobias Grewe's concept is founded primarily on the idea of abstraction through reduction. He reveals the buildings' characteristic features, composes these through close-ups and extreme perspectives, lays them bare through targeted overexposure – all without any form of post-production digital manipulation. For Grewe, one of the most important questions is how much "less" is necessary, how much "more" is needed, so that the viewer can take part in the shared aesthetic experience of pure geometry. The viewer thus becomes an integral part of this visual experience. Through this skilful process of abstraction, Grewe creates a new universal and quiet language of pure forms and colours.

The exhibition “Tobias Grewe. At Second Glance. Chinese Architecture in Dialogue” is an official contribution to the biannual Photo Festival "Internationale Photoszene Köln" as well as to the biannual Architecture Festival "plan12" and has been organised in conjunction with the “Cologne China-Year 2012”.

Curated by Gérard A. Goodrow in cooperation with Beck & Eggeling Contemporary, Düsseldorf. Introduction: Julia Ritterskamp, Art Historian, Düsseldorf

For additional information and high-res images, please contact:
Gérard A. Goodrow under +49 (0)157 7134 9517 or per email at

Kulturforum in Herz Jesu
Zülpicher Platz
Cologne 50674 Germany

Opening hours
From Monday through Sunday
From 15:00 – 18:00 and by appointment.

During the Architectural Festival “plan12”, the exhibition will be open
On September 21 from 18:00 – 22:00
From September 22 - 28 daily from 13:00 – 21:00.