Reinhart Wolf
  • Introduction

  • Bio

It all started in the 1970s in an office building on Park Avenue. Reinhart Wolf was looking out over the rooftops of New York with an editor from GEO magazine. At some point, the editor asked: “Why don’t you take photos for us?” A commission was born, for which the renowned advertising photographer trained his lens on the tops of New York buildings, documenting their glass and steel architecture in stunning detail. It was no easy task. Wolf had to use his powers of persuasion to convince countless doormen, superintendents, and tenants to open their doors for him – often at the brink of dawn, when the rays of the rising sun first hit the city.

The enchanting color photographs were developed in a laborious dye-transfer process that was used well into the 90s, especially for advertising photography. The photographs show the Flatiron Building in all its Beaux Arts Renaissance glory, and the Fuller Building’s geometric art deco ornamentation. Reinhart Wolf, who began his career with portraits of painters and sculptors, gave these buildings a face. He captures them in a magnificent concurrence of light and color, both highly emotional and extremely precise. German journalist Georg Ramseger describes these works as a “Demonstration against coincidence and for considered composition.”

The buildings in Reinhart Wolf’s photos are presented with an appearance of incredible power. The artist described this sensation: “The people who constructed these buildings only had one thing in mind: to reach for the stars.”
Reinhart Wolf studied photography in Hamburg and Munich. He was a founding member of the Art Directors Club and a recipient of the German Photography Society’s Culture Award. Wolf published ten photo books, including New York from the TASCHEN publishing company, and received multiple awards for them. Reinhart Wolf died in Hamburg in 1988.

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