Hélène Binet's show at the Julius Shulman Institute sheds light on the art of contemporary photography

Firminy Church
Left: Firminy Church by Le Corbusier (2007). courtesy ammann gallery Right: MAXXI Diptychon by Zaha Hadid (2009). courtesy ammann gallery
(Image credit: Hélène Binet)

Hélène Binet scooped the coveted Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award for 2015, so it was only fitting that the renowned organisation set up an exhibition of her work to mark the occasion. Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light is a celebration of the photographer's ongoing contribution to her field. 

Over twenty-five years, the Swiss-French artist has offered her unique perspective to the work of internationally acclaimed architects across the globe, from Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind, to Peter Zumthor and Caruso St John. Her work is underlined by her strong compositions, use of light and her meticulous analogue processes. 

This show, on display at the Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery (WUHO), is Binet's first West Coast exhibition and her third in the United States. It was curated by Binet together with Emily Bills, the Institute's Managing Director. 'Binet is an advocate of using film over digital methods, developing exquisite prints that reflect a deep concentration on the production of each image,' says Bills.

Binet is recognised not only as a leading international photographer, but also as one that has helped shape the contemporary architectural photography scene. Above all, she is acknowledged for her unique way of capturing the journey of light through a building. It is this quote by Louis Kahn, Binet says, that expresses her work: 'The sun never knew how great it was until it struck the side of a building.'

MAXXI Diptychon by Zaha Hadid

MAXXI Diptychon by Zaha Hadid (2009). courtesy ammann gallery

(Image credit: Hélène Binet)

Kapelle fur den heiligen Bruder Klaus by Peter Zumthor

Left: Kapelle fur den heiligen Bruder Klaus by Peter Zumthor (2009). courtesy ammann gallery
Right: Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art by Zaha Hadid (2003).  courtesy ammann gallery

(Image credit: Hélène Binet)


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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).