Max Kellenberger






June 8 - August 31, 2013


Opening Reception

June 8, 6-9 PM



Max Kellenberger celebrates the deep Prussian blue that defines cyanotype, exploring the medium’s ability to capture the elemental structure of an object and reveal its essence. Absorbed by the hypnotic beauty of blue, Kellenberger employs a technique traditionally reserved to create technical documents. The result is work of grace and subtle humor.

            Kellenberger began creating cyanotypes in 2009, drawn by its incredible color and the immediacy of working in a medium developed in 1842 by the English scientist Sir John Herschel. Inspired by the documentary nature of classic blueprints, Kellenberger began to systematically use cyanotype to record objects typically packaged in boxes, arranging their contents, such as bowtie pasta and washers, in orderly fashion. Soon the arrangements became random, freeing objects such as rice and aspirin from the artist's strict control. Ultimately, the objects themselves suggested each composition, and aggregations of individual candies and crackers became large representations of themselves. Eventually, Kellenberger explored individual objects, exposing the qualities of a single stem of wild grass or a filmy garment intended to both reveal and conceal.

            Kellenberger continues to explore the medium, mastering variables that determine the beauty of each individual print. Whether he captures imposed order upon or the inherent qualities of his subjects, he works magic in blue.


            Kellenberger was born in Switzerland, and began exploring photography during his childhood. He was fascinated with anything mechanical and technical, and particularly with anything that emitted or reflected light. He created his first enlarger at the age of twelve, and his first attempt to process film was in the family home's closet. He began photographing professionally while he was in high school, and after a brief digression to determine that a career in medicine was not for him, he returned to photography. He moved to the United States after years of transcontinental visits and after realizing that in the states, photography enjoyed an established position as an art form.

            Upon his arrival, Kellenberger focused on fine art photography. He archived his European and American work and created a portfolio of gelatin silver prints titled Was im Licht erscheint (What Appears in the Light). In 2012, he published the photogravure portfolio Feld und Flur (Field and Meadow), a cased edition of ten prints inspired by German Romanticism. Kellenberger exhibits in both the United States and Switzerland, and he is based in San Francisco.




Top: Scarf (right panel)2013, cyanotype, 22 x 30 inches, unique photogram. 

 Bottom: Washers, 2011, cyanotype, 30 x 22 inches, edition of 3.