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Kunsthaus Zürich

Andreas Gursky

Like Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky studied photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher at Düsseldorf Academy of Art. But his work departs from the paths mapped out by his teachers: for one thing Gursky is untypical in not working in actual series. There are admittedly certain favourite motifs, including landscape, architecture, industrial complexes and places devoted to consumerism and mass leisure pastimes. But each individual picture stands on its own and needs no reference to others. Yet even without thematic definitions Gursky has succeeded in elaborating an unmistakable, recognizable photographic style, which in turn has itself influenced the style of many representatives of a younger generation. In spite of the apparent rigorousness of his pictorial language Gursky is not a purist, subjecting many of his photographs to digital reworking. But this too is always used to serve a classically photographic, veristic depiction of things that are current and factual. Gursky’s works tend rather to acquire their quite individual fascination through the exaggeration of a sometimes almost Biedermeier-like, naturalistic everyday poetry into the elegiac and meaningful: this is the achievement of the monumental formats.

Andreas Gursky (1955)
Grand Hyatt Park, 1995
© Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky (1955)
Grand Hyatt Park, 1995
© Andreas Gursky