The Fourth Wall

  • Exhibition
    "The Fourth Wall"
    from Saturday, March 16, 2019 to Saturday, April 27, 2019
    Galerie XII LA

    Galerie XII Los Angeles is pleased to present the first US exhibition of prints from the series The Fourth Wall by Hamburg-based photographer Klaus Frahm. An opening reception with the artist will be held at the gallery on March 16th, the same evening when the artist’s son, renowned neo-classical pianist Nils Frahm, makes his highly anticipated debut performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. A hi-fidelity sound system installed in the gallery will provide musical context to the prints on view creating a unique, multi-sensory exhibition experience.
    Since 2010, Klaus Frahm has been photographing classical theaters and opera houses across Europe for the series, The Fourth Wall. Coming from the tradition of architectural photography, he uses prominently an analog 4x5” camera to control the perspective and capture minute details. Composing from the back of the stage facing the audience, his series presents a striking visual commentary on the design and dramatic theory of the invisible wall between the audience and performers. The Fourth Wall, a term common among actors, had been invented in 1892 by the French dramatist Jean Jullien: the actors should behave on stage like in a room with four walls, the fourth is transparent only to the audience.
    The mechanical, electric complexity of show production typically hidden behind the scenes now prominently frames the opulent theater seating beyond the stage creating a multifaceted dialogue between the two contrasting environments. Photographs from hallowed venues across Germany, Italy, Belgium, England, and Switzerland will be on view, providing visitors a unique contemporary viewpoint on these historically significant spaces.


    Klaus Frahm, born 1953 near Hamburg, Germany, studied social anthropology and journalism before beginning his career as a self-taught photographer in the late 1970s. The main focus of his work is in architecture, often with political, ethical or social subtexts. Since 1976 Frahm’s artwork has been exhibited and published internationally and is a part of prominent collections including the Stedelijk Museum , Amsterdam, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, the Museum of Modern Art, Yokohama, the Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, the Polaroid International Collection, Cambridge, MA, and the collection of Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, among others. Frahm lives in Hamburg and Berlin.

  • Press