When Architecture Becomes Graphic Art

A photographic series by Roland Fischer transforms building facades into works of art

by Angelica Marino

(Museum, Munich)


At first glance, these images may seem like nothing more than graphic art prints. Lines, squares, colors, and patterns created for the sole purpose of decorating a given space.  Look closer, and the patterns you see may start to seem familiar. That’s because the images you are looking at are actually close-ups of the facades of well-known commercial buildings.


(Kitamagome, Tokyo)


The photographs captured by artist Roland Fischer depict corporate buildings from all over the world. The project began in the 1990s, while the artist was visiting Shanghai. He explains, "I started the project over 15 years ago, during my first visit to Shanghai, where I noticed all these new buildings mushrooming everywhere and giving you the impression, that they could as well be from any other major town in the world. I thought that this was a quite new urban visual experience, a consequence naturally of the than still new process of globalisation."


(Docklands, Melbourne)


The project continued for several years, as the artist travelled to big cities around the globe.


(Bank of America, Atlanta)


"The 'Facades' are hybrid images: they have obviously a strong abstract quality and hence create - as I see it - an interesting phenomena, only connected with the medium photography: they still are representational (every detail relates to an outside, urban reality, this is the so-called "indexicality" of photography) but at the same time they also function as abstract images / objects (like "Colour Field Paintings") without any needed reference."


(Odaiba, Tokyo)


(Wukesong, Beijing)


(Winc Aichi, Nagoya)


(Uniqlo, Osaka)


(Surfparade, Gold Coast)


(Sogo, Kobe)


(SignalBox, Basel)


(S1, Brasilia)


(Royal Park, Melbourne)


(Prada, Nagoya)


(Papendorp, Utrecht)


(NAB, Melbourne)


(Museum, Munich #2)


(Miyakojima Dori, Osaka)


(Lenbachhaus, Munich)


(HuntingtonAve, Boston)


(Holiday Inn, Sao Paolo)


(Highschool, Utrecht)


(Gaienmae, Tokyo)




(Birmingham -day)


(BBVA, Madrid)


You can view even more 'facades' in Roland Fischer's book

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