May 1–June 21, 2010
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are delighted to present an exhibition of new works by Andreas Gursky in Berlin. The series of works represents an important new development in Gursky’s 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.
The path from diagram to large-scale photographic work proved to be very involved. Gursky used high-definition satellite photographs which he augmented from various picture sources on the Internet. The satellite photos are restricted however to exposures of sharply contoured land masses. Consequently the transitional zones between land and water – as well as the oceans themselves – had to be generated completely by artificial means. Given that they make up by far the largest part of the works, this resulted in a gigantic project that only compares with the efforts Gursky lavished on the series F1 Boxenstopp (2007). That all these pieces nevertheless convey the feeling of real subaquatic depths is due solely to the precision of Gursky’s visual work. He even consulted shoal maps to get the right colour nuances for the water surfaces.