Andreas Gursky. Photo: Ralph Goertz

 

Andreas Gursky (*1955) is considered one of the most important photographers in the world, an artist who has expanded the boundaries of the photographic medium like few before him. His complex, large-format images—some of which have attained iconic status—show spectacular landscapes and elaborate interiors, combining technical virtuosity with a painterly eye. His work casts a relentless gaze on the age of globalization, rigorously dissecting the effects of modernity. The Dusseldorf-based artist has been associated with the gallery since 1993.

 

Read more

Gursky attended Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher. The Becher’s expansion of the photographic medium to include ideas and approaches from conceptual art had a lasting influence on his work. Even early works show Gursky stringently pursuing a project that he himself once referred to as an “encyclopaedia of life.” While photographs such as Klausen Pass (1984), Düsseldorf, Airport, Sunday Walkers (1985) and Niagara Falls (1989) resemble landscape images at first, these are landscapes charged with the fantasies of tourism and leisure culture, infused with the longings of people eager to escape their dull routines.

Gursky subsequently expanded his project to include a broad spectrum of global mass phenomena and their architectures, from pop concerts (Madonna I, 2001) and North Korean propaganda events (Pyongyang VI, 2017 (2007)) to factory buildings (Karlsruhe, Siemens, 1991), high-rise buildings (Paris, Montparnasse, 1993) and superstores (99 Cent, 1999), stock exchanges (Tokyo, Stock Exchange, 1990), industrial farms (Greeley, 2002) and solar panel fields (Les Mées, 2016). Depicting typical manifestations of late capitalist society, Gursky documents how new forms of economic organization are reflected in everyday life, and how people adjust to a world of increasingly high-tech, boundless communication.

This quasi-documentary perspective is also reflected on a formal level. The supersized photographs typical of Gursky, some of which have the dimensions of smaller cinema screens, merge a hyperreal view of the whole with an extraordinary abundance of detail. Their foreground and background have the same depth of field. It is physically impossible for the viewer to take in the entire image and its excess of meticulously-captured details all at once. They only ever see a part of the picture. The result is a dynamic that productively disrupts understanding of the image and ensures that these works elude total comprehension.

Gursky’s pronounced interest in abstract pictorial forms was already evident in his earliest photographic works. This tendency has become even stronger in recent years thanks to digital image-editing processes. Gursky employs digital techniques in a variety of ways: to remove or add pictorial elements, emphasize details, seamlessly assemble an image from smaller photographs or manipulate perspective. In general, these interventions seem to aim at overwhelming the viewer with detail, creating a particularly Gursky-esque version of the sublime. And yet the photographer also seems to pursue painterly impulses in pictures such as from the Ocean (2010) or Bangkok (2011) series. Although they remain true to the photographic medium, these works recall the visual vocabularies of Post-Impressionism or Abstract Expressionism. In this way, the photographer emphasizes an aspect that runs through his entire oeuvre: Each of his photographs also explores photography itself as a subject matter—its cultural codes, art-historical practices and various ways of creating meaning.

 

Andreas Gursky: Not Abstract
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, July 2–November 6, 2016
© IKS – Institut für Kunstdokumentation

Works
Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Amazon, 2016

Andreas Gursky
Amazon, 2016
C-print, Diasec
207 x 407 x 6.2 cm (framed)
81 1/2 x 160 1/4 x 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Kodak, 1995

Andreas Gursky
Kodak, 1995
Inkjet-print, framed behind glass
107.5 × 91.7 × 4.2 cm (framed)
42 1/4 × 36 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Utah, 2017

Andreas Gursky
Utah
Inkjet-print, Diasec
225.6 × 457.6 × 6.4 cm (framed)
88 7/8 × 180 1/8 × 2 1/2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Review, 2015

Andreas Gursky
Review, 2015
Inkjet-print, Diasec
242 x 477 x 6.5 cm (framed)
95 1/4 x 187 7/8 x 2 5/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Untitled XIX, 2015

Andreas Gursky
Untitled XIX, 2015
Inkjet-print, Diasec
307 × 221.5 × 6.2 cm (framed)
120 7/8 × 87 1/8 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Antarctic, 2010

Andreas Gursky
Antarctic, 2010
C-print, Diasec
249.4 × 347.4 × 6.4 cm (framed)
98 1/8 × 136 3/4 × 2 1/2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Pyongyang VI, 2017 (2007)

Andreas Gursky
Pyongyang VI, 2017 (2007)
C-print, Diasec
296.2 × 213.2 × 6.2 cm (framed)
116 5/8 × 84 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Chicago Board of Trade III, 1999/2009

Andreas Gursky
Chicago Board of Trade III, 1999/2009
C-print, Diasec
223 × 307 × 6.2 cm (framed)
120 3/4 × 87 3/4 × 2 1/2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Rhine II, 1999

Andreas Gursky
Rhine II, 1999
C-print, Diasec
206 x 356 x 6.2 cm (framed)
81 x 140 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Hechingen, Jockey, 1990

Andreas Gursky
Hechingen, Jockey, 1990
C-print, Diasec
205 × 268.3 × 5 cm (framed)
80 3/4 × 105 5/8 × 2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Niagara Falls, 1989

Andreas Gursky
Niagara Falls, 1989
C-print, Diasec
278.7 × 221 × 6.2 cm (framed)
109 3/4 × 87 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Bochum, University, 1988

Andreas Gursky
Bochum, University, 1988
Inkjet-print, behind glass
90.4 × 121.2 × 4.5 cm (framed)
35 5/8 × 47 3/4 × 1 3/4 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky
Alba, 1989

Andreas Gursky
Alba, 1989
C-print, Diasec
221.2 × 276.7 × 6.2 cm (framed)
87 × 109 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Details
Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Amazon, 2016
C-print, Diasec
207 x 407 x 6.2 cm (framed)
81 1/2 x 160 1/4 x 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Kodak, 1995
Inkjet-print, framed behind glass
107.5 × 91.7 × 4.2 cm (framed)
42 1/4 × 36 × 1 5/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Utah
Inkjet-print, Diasec
225.6 × 457.6 × 6.4 cm (framed)
88 7/8 × 180 1/8 × 2 1/2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Review, 2015
Inkjet-print, Diasec
242 x 477 x 6.5 cm (framed)
95 1/4 x 187 7/8 x 2 5/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Untitled XIX, 2015
Inkjet-print, Diasec
307 × 221.5 × 6.2 cm (framed)
120 7/8 × 87 1/8 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Antarctic, 2010
C-print, Diasec
249.4 × 347.4 × 6.4 cm (framed)
98 1/8 × 136 3/4 × 2 1/2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Pyongyang VI, 2017 (2007)
C-print, Diasec
296.2 × 213.2 × 6.2 cm (framed)
116 5/8 × 84 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Chicago Board of Trade III, 1999/2009
C-print, Diasec
223 × 307 × 6.2 cm (framed)
120 3/4 × 87 3/4 × 2 1/2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Rhine II, 1999
C-print, Diasec
206 x 356 x 6.2 cm (framed)
81 x 140 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Hechingen, Jockey, 1990
C-print, Diasec
205 × 268.3 × 5 cm (framed)
80 3/4 × 105 5/8 × 2 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Niagara Falls, 1989
C-print, Diasec
278.7 × 221 × 6.2 cm (framed)
109 3/4 × 87 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Bochum, University, 1988
Inkjet-print, behind glass
90.4 × 121.2 × 4.5 cm (framed)
35 5/8 × 47 3/4 × 1 3/4 inches (framed)

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Alba, 1989
C-print, Diasec
221.2 × 276.7 × 6.2 cm (framed)
87 × 109 × 2 3/8 inches (framed)

Details
icon_fullscreen
1 of 13

 

Current and Upcoming
Andreas Gursky
Peter Boettcher

Electro. From Kraftwerk to Chemical Brothers.
Group Exhibition
Design Museum, London
Through May 3, 2021

This first major exhibition devoted to electronic music explores the genre’s imagination, its innovations and mythologies, and its correlations with contemporary art. Featuring a soundtrack mixed by Laurent Garnier, it is firmly anchored in the present. The itinerary is the product of creative input and engagement from a number of the musicians involved: Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Jacques and Molécule all appropriated the exhibition as a testing ground for their concepts and ideas.

Andreas Gursky
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
Through August 22, 2021

Andreas Gursky was born in Leipzig in 1955, the same year his family fled to West Germany and later settled in Düsseldorf. The connection to Leipzig was never severed but it is only this autumn that the internationally celebrated artist will finally be honored with a retrospective of his work in his native city at the Museum der bildenden Künste.

Link
Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky, Hong Kong Shanghai Bank I, 2020, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020
Andreas Gursky
Cyprien Gaillard, Desniansky Raion, 2007 (film still)

Art of Sport
Group Exhibition
Copenhagen Contemporary
April 21–October 24, 2021

To some, sport represents a free space, communal activities, and self-development whereas others experience it as frightening, excluding, and associated with rivalry, extremism, and unhealthy body focus. This duality is the subject examined in Art of Sport as the exhibition paints an all-round picture of the nature of sport. Via a number of works by national and international artists, CC zooms in on the hero worship and idolisation associated with sport, its gender and ethnicity codes, its mechanisms for inclusion and exclusion, and the relationship of sport with politics, power, and money.

Link
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
Early Landscapes
April 15–June 21, 2014
London

From the moment he started making photographs to the present day, the landscape has captivated Andreas Gursky. This exhibition is the first to focus on a group of important early landscapes from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Predating Gursky’s extensive use of digital technology, and characterised by what the artist has called an ‘extraterrestrial’ perspective, the pictures are titled simply and directly after the geographical location where they were taken.

Read more

Andreas Gursky
May 1–June 21, 2010
Berlin

This series of new works by Andreas Gursky represents an important new development in his practice in which the artist reassesses the way he works with photography.

Like many of Andreas Gursky’s works, the new, six-part series Ocean I-VI (2009-2010) goes back to a spontaneous visual experience. As the artist relates, while flying one night from Dubai to Melbourne he stared for some time at the flight monitor: the Horn of Africa to the far left, a tip of Australia to the far right – and there in between the blue void. Then all of a sudden he saw the graphic representation on the monitor as a picture.

Read more
Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
March 22–May 12, 2007
London

This inaugural exhibition of recent works by Andreas Gursky is also the artist’s first UK show since the Serpentine Gallery exhibition in 1998 and is being held jointly with White Cube at Mason’s Yard.

Gursky’s sumptuous large scale photographs of mass events, stock exchanges (of which Kuwait Stock Exchange is the most recent), futuristic architecture and altered landscapes address 21st century concerns such as capitalism and globalisation, the place of the individual in the technological age and man’s impact on the natural environment.

Read more

Thank You For The Music (London Beat)
Saadane Afif, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Ellen Cantor, Sean Dack, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Christian Holstad, David Lamelas, Los Super Elegantes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, David & Albert Maysles, Jonas Mekas, , Jonathan Monk, Simon Moretti, Paul Morrissey, Dave Muller, Philippe Parreno / Liam Gillick, Phillippe Parreno, Raymond Pettibon, Zbigniew Rogalski, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Meredyth Sparks, Mika Taanila, Wolfgang Tillmans, Keith Tyson, Xavier Veilhan, Banks Violette, Lawrence Weiner, Charlotte Zwerin
curated by Johannes Fricke Waldthausen
June 30–September 2, 2006
London

Thank You For The Music addresses the recent history of music. The exhibition examines music and pop culture, their various market mechanisms, and the liberation from the traditional copyright restrictions as a ubiquitous source of artistic inspiration – one that has become a global phenomenon and a permanent aspect of everyday experience. Drawing on a selection of more then 30 contributions by contemporary international artists, filmmakers, and musicians, the project attempts to position music and culture within a larger social context.

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky

Thank You For The Music
Saadane Afif, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Pash Buzari, Bruce Conner, Sean Dack, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Simon English, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Christian Holstad, David Lamelas, Arto Lindsay / Matthew Barney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, Jonas Mekas, , Jonathan Monk, Simon Moretti, Paul Morrissey, Raymond Pettibon, Zbigniew Rogalski, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Frank Stella, Thaddeus Strode, Mika Taanila, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Essi Utriainen, Mayer Vaisman, Banks Violette
November 24, 2005–February 11, 2006
Munich

The exhibition Thank You For The Music examines music and pop culture, their various market mechanisms and the liberation from traditional copyright restrictions as a ubiquitous source of artistic inspiration — one that has become a global phenomenon and a permanent aspect of everyday experience. Drawing on a selection of contributions by more than 30 international artists, filmmakers and musicians, the show attempts to position intersections between visual arts, music culture and music history within a larger social context.

Andreas Gursky
July 17–October 16, 2004
Cologne

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky

Shadow and Light
Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Fengel, Peter Fischli  David Weiss, Dan Flavin, Sylvie Fleury, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Thomas Grünfeld, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Jenny Holzer, Axel Kasseböhmer, Stefan Kern, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Louise Lawler, Anne Loch, Paul Morrison, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Bruce Nauman, Manuel Ocampo, Nam June Paik, Hirsch Perlman, Lari Pittman, Barbara Probst, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Paul Sietsema, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, Martin Wöhrl, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
July 26–August 31, 2003
Salzburg

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers will open a temporary space in Salzburg together with their London partner Simon Lee for the duration of the Salzburg Festival. One of the main reasons for this was the fact that the galleries are traditionally closed in August and that exhibition operations are shut down, but at the same time cultural life is at its peak in Salzburg, not far from our Munich location. It makes sense to contribute something to the cultural climate with a precisely formulated group exhibition and at the same time to reach a sophisticated international audience.

20th Anniversary Show
John Baldessari, Alighiero Boetti, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Peter Fischli  David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Axel Kasseböhmer, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Nina Pohl, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Andrea Zittel, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
April 25–October 18, 2003
Cologne

In 1983, Monika Sprüth opened her Cologne based gallery with a solo show by Andreas Schulze. Starting from the idea to establish a forum for young and unknown artists, the central focus of the gallery concept was developed in the discourse of the 80s. The gallery program was completed by recourses to artistic attitudes of the last 40 years. This research, motivated by reflection on contemporary art history, was more and more realized in cooperation with Philomene Magers who directed her Bonn gallery since 1992. After a few years of loose cooperation, Monika Sprüth Gallery and Philomene Magers Gallery aligned with each other after, and together the Monika Sprüth / Philomene Magers Gallery opened up in Munich in 1999.

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky

Ausblick
Peter Fischli  David Weiss, Andreas Gursky, Louise Lawler, Vincenzo Castella
July 4–August 30, 1997
Cologne

Andreas Gursky
November 8, 1996–January 11, 1997
Cologne

Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
November 12, 1993–January 15, 1994
Cologne

Press

Die Rückkehr
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, review by Andreas Platthaus, April 8, 2021

Ostverwandte
Welt am Sonntag, article by Boris Pofalla, March 14, 2021

Gurskys Heimkehr
Monopol, article by Ulf Erdmann Ziegler, Dec. 2020, pp. 80-89

Do Or DIY: Andreas Gursky’s First New Body Of Work In 3 Years
The Quientus, Online, article by John Quin, 10 Oct. 2020

Konstruierte Realität: Andreas Gursky
Frankfurter Rundschau, article by Sebastian Borger, November 2, 2018

Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist
The New York Times, article by Farah Nayeri, January 29, 2018

Andreas Gursky: ‘The perfect image is not something that can be taught’
Financial Times, article by Liz Jobey, January 12, 2018

Vier Kanzler sehen rot
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, article by Niklas Maak, October 15, 2015

Best to approach Gursky’s photos with a painterly eye
The Japan Times, article by Mathew Larking, April 23, 2014

Gursky Earth
ZEIT Magazin, article by Christoph Amend, April 29, 2010

Ein großer Romantiker seiner Epoche
Welt am Sonntag, article by Eva Karcher, Online, August 8, 2004

Biography

Andreas Gursky (*1955, Leipzig) lives and works in Dusseldorf. Solo exhibitions include his upcoming retrospective at MdbK Leipzig (2021), Hayward Gallery, London (2018), National Museum of Art, Osaka (2014), National Art Center, Tokyo (2013), Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf (2013) and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (2012). A solo exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2001) toured to Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, MCA, Chicago and SFMOMA, San Francisco. His first retrospective, Retrospektive 1984–2007, was shown at Haus der Kunst, Munich and toured to Istanbul Modern and Sharjah Art Museum (2007), then to Ekaterina Foundation, Moscow and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2008). Andreas Gursky: Werke 1980–2008 opened at the Museum Haus Esters Haus Lange, Krefeld (2008) and toured to Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Vancouver Art Gallery (2009).

https://www.andreasgursky.com/de

Education
1985 Master Student with Bernd Becher, Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
1980–87 Class of Bernd Becher, Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
1977–80 Folkwang Hochschule (GHS), Essen
Teaching
2010–18 Professor of Liberal Arts, Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2018 Großer Kulturpreis der Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland
2008 Kaiserring der Stadt Goslar, Goslar
2003 Wilhelm-Loth-Preis, Darmstadt
1998 Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize
1991 Renata-Preis
1990 Stipendium für Zeitgenössische Deutsche Fotografie. Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung
1989 1. Deutscher Photopreis der Landesgirokasse Stuttgart
Public Collections
Amore Pacific Museum of Art, Seoul
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Astrup Fearnly Museet, Oslo
De Pont, Huis Marseille, Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam
Dib Bankgok. Contemporary Art Museum, Bangkok
Frieder Burda Museum, Baden-Baden
Folkwang-Museum, Essen
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur
Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
Glenstone Foundation, Potomac, MD
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Harvard Museum, Cambridge
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City
Kunstmuseum Basel
Kunstsammlung NRW, Dusseldorf
Kurpfälzischem Museum Heidelberg
LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Moderna Museet Stockholm
Musée de La Roche-sur-Yon, La Roche-sur-Yon
Museum Gertsch, Burgdorf
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Museum of Art, Osaka
National Portrait Gallery, London
Neues Museum, Nuremberg
Palm Springs Art Museum, CA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
PinchukArtCentre, Kiev
Reina Sofía, Madrid
Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Schauwerk, Sindelfingen
Seattle Art Museum
Sintra Museum, Lisbon
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf
St. Louis Art Museum, MO
Tate, London
The Broad, Los Angeles
The National Art Center, Tokyo
Vancouver Art Gallery