You never notice arbitrary details in my work. On a formal level, countless interrelated micro and macrostructures are woven together, determined by an overall organizational principle.
From images of nature to photographs of cities, crowds, and commercial products, Andreas Gursky invents new worlds from existing elements, constructing tableaux based on his methodical observations. In his large-format, high-definition photographs, he presents hyperfocused scenes that privilege neither foreground nor background.
Gursky studied visual communication at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen, Germany, from 1977 to 1980. He then continued his studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he was a master-class student of Bernd and Hilla Becher, the artist duo known for their series of photographs of selected types of industrial structures, or “typologies.” While the Bechers used a standardized, documentary style to underscore the commonality inherent in variation, Gursky’s studies propelled him to expand the idea of the photographic document by using digital manipulation and montage to record specific scenes, moments, and events. His works from the early 1990s depict factories, stock exchanges, airports, golf courses, highways, and buildings, often from aerial viewpoints that reveal the patterns of crowds and infrastructure. In 1996 he moved away from this perspective in favor of deadpan frontal views, as in the Prada series (1996–98), depicting the minimalist altars of luxury fashion, or, as in Prada II (1997), showing the empty shelves lit with fluorescent lights.
In the early 2000s Gursky began arranging his photographic montages according to classical patterns of representation. The Pyongyang photographs (2007), in particular—which show colorful, kaleidoscopic crowds of performers in North Korea—recall compositional methods used during the Renaissance. Gursky followed this series with photographs of more informal crowds, such as those at Cocoon, a famous German nightclub designed by his friend DJ Sven Väth. The club, with its perforated metallic walls, resembles a futuristic hive, and Gursky used its cavernous scale to produce hypnotic scenes that envelop the viewer in their repeated patterns.
In addition to his work focusing on social phenomena, entertainment, and urban planning, Gursky is interested in capturing the realities of the planet, often narrowing in on bodies of water, from the Rhine in Germany to the Chao Phraya in Thailand. The Bangkok series (2011) depicts the flickering, often littered, surface of this fast-flowing river at close range. For the Ocean works (2010), Gursky sourced high-definition satellite photography to generate his own interpretations of sea and land, constructing scenes of oceanic expanses with coastlines visible at the images’ outermost edges. From environmental threats to growing crowds and infrastructural development, Gursky’s photographs capture the extremes of the present moment.
I Don’t Like Fiction, I Like History
Duane Hanson with Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Sharon Lockhart, and Jeff Wall
September 5–28, 2018
Extended through March 10, 2018
December 14, 2017–March 10, 2018
Not Abstract II
November 10–December 23, 2016
West 21st Street, New York
May 15–June 16, 2012
November 4–December 17, 2011
West 21st Street, New York
March 4–May 1, 2010
From the Quarterly
Fairs, Events & Announcements
Seattle Art Fair
August 2–5, 2018, booth A09
CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle
Gagosian is pleased to present Out of This World: Artists Explore Space, a booth curated by Larry Gagosian for the 2018 Seattle Art Fair. The presentation gathers works that reveal artistic and scientific explorations of the cosmos. Featured artists include Richard Avedon, Andisheh Avini, Chris Burden, Alexander Calder, Vija Celmins, Ellen Gallagher, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Neil Jenney, Mike Kelley, Yves Klein, Vera Lutter, Brice Marden, Marc Newson, Nam June Paik, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Tom Sachs, Taryn Simon, Yves Tanguy, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Ed Ruscha, Even Though He’s Light Years Away, His Heart Belongs to Me, 1963 © Ed Ruscha
June 14–17, 2018
Messe Basel, booth B11
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel 2018, presenting works by modern and contemporary artists including Georg Baselitz, John Chamberlain, Dan Colen, John Currin, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Jennifer Guidi, Andreas Gursky, Neil Jenney, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse, Takashi Murakami, Giuseppe Penone, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Mark Tansey, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, and Tom Wesselmann. To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at email@example.com. To preview our booth go to www.artsy.net. To purchase tickets to attend the fair go to www.artbasel.com.
Georg Baselitz, Frau am Strand (Woman on the Beach), 1981 © Georg Baselitz 2018
Art Basel Hong Kong
March 29–31, 2018, booth ICI8
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong. To view highlights from the booth in advance of the fair visit www.artsy.com. Our presentation will include works by Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, Glenn Brown, Alexander Calder, John Currin, Willem de Kooning, Edmund De Waal, Jean Dubuffet, Urs Fischer, Lucio Fontana, Walton Ford, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Jia Aili, Anish Kapoor, Yves Klein, Karen Kneffel, Jeff Koons, Harmony Korine, Roy Lichtenstein, Takashi Murakami, Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Mark Tansey, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Jonas Wood, Christopher Wool, and Zeng Fanzhi. Tickets are available at www.artbasel.com.
Zeng Fanzhi, 8, 2018 © Zeng Fanzhi 2018
MoMA at NGV
130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art
Through October 7, 2018
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
MoMA at NGV will provide a unique survey of the museum’s iconic collection. Two hundred key works will be arranged chronologically into eight thematic sections. The exhibition will trace the development of art and design from late-nineteenth-century urban and industrial transformation through to the digital and global present. Work by Alexander Calder, Andreas Gursky, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol will be included.
Pablo Picasso, Seated Bather, 1930, Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
A Journey That Wasn’t
Opened June 30, 2018
The Broad, Los Angeles
This exhibition explores complex representations of time and its passage. The show includes more than fifty works drawn from the museum’s collection of postwar and contemporary art and features more than twenty artists, including Gregory Crewdson, Andreas Gursky, Anselm Kiefer, and Ed Ruscha.
Ed Ruscha, Azteca/Azteca In Decline, 2007, Broad Art Foundation © Ed Ruscha
October 7, 2017–June 10, 2018
Site Santa Fe
Future Shock is a large-scale exhibition of works that articulate the profound impact of the acceleration of technological, social, and structural change upon contemporary life. The exhibition brings together ten artists whose works imagine a range of visions of our present and future. Work by Andreas Gursky and Tom Sachs is included.
Andreas Gursky, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 1997 © Andreas Gursky/2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
January 25–April 22, 2018
Hayward Gallery, London
The Hayward Gallery holds the first major UK retrospective of Andreas Gursky. The exhibition features nearly sixty of the artist’s groundbreaking photographs from the early 1980s through the past few years, and includes some of his most iconic pictures.
Andreas Gursky, Bahrain I, 2005 © Andreas Gursky/DACS 2018