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Andreas Gursky

Not Abstract II

November 10–December 23, 2016
West 21st Street, New York

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation view

Artwork © Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation video

Installation video

Works Exhibited

Andreas Gursky, Amazon, 2016 Chromogenic print, framed: 81 ½ × 160 ¼ × 2 ½ inches (207 × 407 × 6.2 cm)© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Amazon, 2016

Chromogenic print, framed: 81 ½ × 160 ¼ × 2 ½ inches (207 × 407 × 6.2 cm)
© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Ohne Titel XVIII, 2015 Inkjet print, framed: 120 ⅞ × 87 3/16 × 2 ½ inches (307 × 87 3/16 × 6.2 cm)© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Ohne Titel XVIII, 2015

Inkjet print, framed: 120 ⅞ × 87 3/16 × 2 ½ inches (307 × 87 3/16 × 6.2 cm)
© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Lager, 2014 Inkjet print, framed: 84 ¾ × 160 ¼ × 2 ½ inches (215.2 × 407 × 6.2 cm)© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Lager, 2014

Inkjet print, framed: 84 ¾ × 160 ¼ × 2 ½ inches (215.2 × 407 × 6.2 cm)
© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Katar, 2012 Inkjet print, framed: 98 × 132 ¾ × 2 ½ inches (249 × 337.3 × 6.2 cm)© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Andreas Gursky, Katar, 2012

Inkjet print, framed: 98 × 132 ¾ × 2 ½ inches (249 × 337.3 × 6.2 cm)
© Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

About

My photographs are “not abstract.” Ultimately they are always identifiable. Photography in general simply cannot disengage from the object.
—Andreas Gursky

In the wake of Andreas Gursky’s survey exhibition nicht abstract at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany, Gagosian is pleased to present Not Abstract II, an exhibition of recent photographs by the renowned German artist, accompanied by an electronic sound installation created by Canadian DJ and producer Richie Hawtin.

From images of nature to those of cities, crowds, and products, Gursky seems to create what already exists. In his photographs, variations in distance serve to emphasize contemporary truths, whereby subject matter is presented in a detailed uniformity that privileges neither foreground nor background. In Les Meés (2016), solar panels, rolling hills, and a gray-blue sky become bold areas of color, as opposed to elements in a landscape. Hawtin’s minimalist techno soundscape, composed in response to Gursky’s art, “breathes” with the photographs, inspiring longer pauses that allow each image to expand beyond its frame.

In several untitled works never before exhibited in the United States, Gursky takes this effect a step further: aerial views of tulip fields tip the landscape up and create homogeny from variety, the colors blending together to form horizontal bands, like sheet music filled in with impressionist hues. That these works are deliberately untitled emphasizes his longstanding interest in recasting, time and again throughout his artistic career, the formal questions activated in postwar American abstraction. However, according to the artist, these photographs are not abstract, because abstraction is unrecognizable. From afar they appear as ambiguous geometries and gradients, but move a step closer and the eye refocuses to reveal their content. Once the tulips are recognized as such, there is no returning to abstraction. Thus Gursky offers up the threshold of abstraction, just in time to make it disappear.

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