August 31, 2012 - Museum kunstpalast - Andreas Gursky
August 31, 2012

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky, Bangkok V 2011. C-Print,
307 x 227 x 6.2 cm (framed). © Andreas Gursky /
VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012 Courtesy Sprüth Magers
Berlin London.

Andreas Gursky
23 September 2012–13 January 2013

Museum Kunstpalast
Ehrenhof 4-5
40479 Düsseldorf
Hours: Tue–Sun 11–6pm, Thu 11–9pm

info [​at​]

The exhibition
The oeuvre of the Düsseldorf-based, internationally renowned photographic artist Andreas Gursky (born in Leipzig in 1955) offers in contemporary photography a new approach to realism. Often highly conceptual in his approach, Gursky makes full use of photo montage using digital technology. For his major exhibition at Museum Kunstpalast, Gursky selected 60 works from his oeuvre. Some of the more recent pieces are to be shown to the public for the first time in this one-off show. Rather than following a chronological order, the exhibition mixes new and old, small and some very large-scale works, offering new and unusual perspectives on Gursky’s photographic art.

Gursky’s subjects encompass architecture, landscape and interiors, as well as large-scale events attended by huge crowds. The Düsseldorf exhibition spans from the early 1980s through to the very recent series such as Ocean I-VI, 2010, and Bangkok, 2011.

Nearly all of Gursky’s photographic works are based on a multitude of shots. These are elaborately condensed together on a computer, becoming one integral composition. Gursky’s aim is neither to achieve documentary objectivity, nor to present a subjective perspective, but to create a synthesis of visual structures, and construct a perfect individual picture or series.

“Invariably, Gursky initially starts off by searching for images, and in a second step invents his picture. Gursky’s pictures do not appear out of nowhere, they are always based on a picture which existed previously. No matter, to what extent—he works on the ‘pre-picture’ until it finally matches what he had in mind.” –Beat Wismer, General Director Foundation Museum Kunstpalast

The series Bangkok
Particularly the series Bangkok, even more so than his cycle Ocean based on satellite images, testifies that Gursky is both an artist who works conceptually and a painter working with photography. The works show no hints as to the location of motifs, merely the title, Bangkok, suggests the location of the depicted shoreless flowing water.

The gaze on the Chao Phraya flowing through Bangkok, which does not fall upon the river from high above, but from a boat landing stage, the observation of the changing play of light on the water’s surface, as well as the aesthetic breaks caused by the waste floating in the river, gave Gursky the impulse for this new series. With a refined sense for painterly density, he examined the possible variations with a view to compositional aspects. He finally developed a total of ten works from the river’s light-shadow camouflage. In contrast to the Ocean work series, Gursky exclusively used portrait format for Bangkok. This lends each individual piece a meditative dimension.

Alternating between reality and fictional effect, especially the works of the Bangkok series exhibit a high degree of abstraction and offer scope for a wealth of painterly associations. They are reminiscent of Art Informel, or of Abstract Expressionist pictures by Clifford Still or Barnett Newman.

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky, who with his works makes a considerable contribution to the international significance of contemporary German photography, studied Visual Communication with Otto Steinert and Michael Schmidt from 1977 to 1981 at the Folkwang University in Essen. He subsequently continued his studies at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf, where from 1985 until his graduation in 1987 he was master student of Bernd Becher. Along with artists including Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Sasse and Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky was part of the group of Becher students who coined the term “Düsseldorf School of Photography.”

In 2010 Andreas Gursky was appointed professor at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, where he teaches free art.

The 112-page catalogue Andreas Gursky. Bangkok is published by Steidl, comprising textual contributions from Hans Irrek, Beat Wismer and John Yau.




Andreas Gursky at Museum Kunstpalast
Museum kunstpalast
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