July 24th 1964, Charlottesville Virginia USA

Brief Description

Photographer, director and author, passionate about urbanism, architecture and design, with a particular focus on modernism. Exploring the power of design as a life changing tool.


Artist Statement

I have a deep fascination for design in all its forms, and how the best of these can change our lives. I am especially interested in the impact of new technologies on old ways of thinking.

My work tends to have its basis in form, allowing me to examine the convergence of ideas, elements, materials, and space that makes each design individual, while exploring the contrasts contained in three-dimensional construction: mass and void; vastness and intimacy; not to mention form and function.


Gordon Watkinson borrowed a camera for a photography class he took at the age of 24 while attending Virginia Commonwealth University. Although he had never previously thought of photography in a serious way, after completing the course his professor saw enough in his work that he encouraged Watkinson to reconsider his career choice and arranged for him to begin working as a photographic assistant.

Watkinson has spent the past 18 years working as a commercial photographer for a broad range of clients from the fields of advertising, architecture, design, and fashion. In conjunction with his photographic work he has directed commercials, made industrial videos, and worked directly with major corporations as well as specialized brands, helping them to develop visual strategies for targeted markets.

Over the years he developed a strong sensitivity for both forms and materials, which has shaped his visual approach and strengthened his fascination for timeless and minimalist design.

Partial Client List

Independent Artists – Photography
Maxi Moto Aerobic Wear – Photography
The Spiegel Catalog – Photography, TV Commercials
Texas Instruments Photography, Industrial Video
The Tiger Woods Foundation – Photography

Editorial Work

The Dallas Morning News (USA)
ELLE Decoration (Germany)
JAM (Germany)

Numéro (France)
Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

Solo Exhibitions

Yksi Expo, Eindhoven / The Netherlands

Centre International pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage (CIVA), Brussels / Belgium

Design Factory, Bratislava / Slovakia


Jakopic Gallery, City Museum & Galleries, Ljubljana / Slovenia
Nordbygg, Stockholm / Norway
Haus der Gegenwart, Munich / Germany

Forum d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture, Nice / France
International Cultural Center, Krakow / Poland
Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt / Germany

Lectures & Workshops

Bauhaus Universität, Weimar / Germany
National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design, Oslo / Norway

Books Import, Milan / Italy
Haus der Gegenwart, Munich / Germany

Forum d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture, Nice / France
Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt / Germany

Exhibition Reviews

It is not raw functionalism that inspire the photographs of Gordon Watkinson. Using light and shadow, the photographer represents the beauty of the geometrical forms, thus underlining the abstract roots of the aesthetic we know from the work of both Kandinsky and Mondrian.

Maja Mozga-Gorecka, Rzeczpospolita (Poland)

Watkinson succeeds not only in unveiling traces of the Bauhaus in contemporary architecture; his photographs bring buildings to life as real tangible experiences.

Sarah Elsing, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

In recent months a number of exhibitions have shown that the Bauhaus was not a doctrine but a cradle for different ideas and concepts. Just how vibrant and fundamental these concepts still are for contemporary architectural projects can be seen in a magnificent solo exhibition by the New York and Paris based photographer Gordon Watkinson. [...] Watkinson has skillfully chosen aesthetically timeless motifs that portray the living environments of the past as a model for a way of life today.

Sandra Hofmeister, Baumeister (Germany)

A true revelation.

Sylvie Beal, Nice Matin (France)

For the American photographer Gordon Watkinson, the architecture of the Bauhaus masters Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Hannes Meyer, Georg Muche and Richard Paulick are works of art, which he has portrayed with discerning reverence. [...] In the DAM in Frankfurt, this photographic dialogue is played out in a landscape of room-high planes that evoke the modernist ideal of flowing space. The exhibition illustrates just how much the appearance and inventiveness of architecture is linked to developments in society.

Rudolf Schmitz, Radio Bayern 2 (Germany)


Gordon Watkinson
Bauhaus twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy
With texts by Falk Jaeger and Peter Cachola Schmal, as well as contributions by Michael Siebenbrodt and twelve prominent architects
Birkhäuser, Basel 2009 (English, German)
Foto+Synthesis e.V., Berlin 2009 (Polish)
Trends Book Company Ltd., Shanghai 2011 (Chinese)

Jean-Lucien Bocillo & Jean-François Pousse
L’Architecture contemporaine sur la Côte d’Azur
Les Presses du Réel, Dijon 2011
p. 32-33 (Marcel Breuer, IBM La Gaude)

Publication Reviews

The most original exhibition and publication on the topic of the Bauhaus came 2009 from New York photographer Gordon Watkinson: [...] a project at the intersection between conceptual art and architecture theory, that one can only recommend.

Hans-Michael Koetzle, PHOTO International (Germany)