Keith van Loen's profile

Abstracting modernism

This series of photographic images examine how modernist architecture is defined.
London photographer Keith van Loen has taken an abstract approach to celebrating the modernism that adorns our city and crops up in expected places.

Keith has worked as a professional photographer in London for twenty years, from portraits and lifestyle to interiors and architecture.
Following a trip to Berlin & Dessau, he became interested in the Bauhaus movement and modernism, the simplicity of design and the effort it took to pare back. Mies van de Rhol said “Less is More” when describing his aesthetic to create an impression of extreme simplicity. Interesting, it is only impression as walls of glass only ‘appear’ to act as a support. It’s when you enter a large open space and notice the absences of pillars do you start to ask questions about modernist architecture.

As our cities change and give way to towers of steel and glass it becomes harder to spot modernist gems. A curved window or the naked formwork of raw concrete are signifiers.
However, many of our modernist buildings go unprotected and undergo radical changes that undermine or remove their modernist credentials.

“For me, photography has always been about noticing small details, this is all the more important now since we look down at screens even as we walk”

Abstracting modernism started with the question, ‘what defines modernist architecture?’, it had to be conveyed without knowledge of the architect or build period. The building had to be noticed and speak for itself. Line, colour, texture and angle provide a language for these bold architectural statements.
“As an architectural photographer I had to down my regular tool set and become much freer to find my version of the defining elements”

Hopefully the work will inspire people to simply take a moment to look up, to observe the elegance, and celebrate our modernism.
Abstracting modernism

Abstracting modernism

Abstract photographic project exploring modernist architecture