artist / participant
From April 11 to May 18, 2008 the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation was hosting a personal exhibition of works by Andreas Gursky, a German leading contemporary photographer and a special guest of the Photobiennale 2008.
Gursky was a student of Hilla and Bernd Becher and represents a very strong photography school – the Dusseldorf school that greatly influenced the development of international art photography of the late 20th-early 21st centuries.
Early photographs by Andreas Gursky are from the early 1980s and tend to follow classical methods and forms. His works of 1980s, as a rule, are panoramic pictures with an unusual perception, dramatically magnificent landscapes with a hardly noticeable human presence. An Alpine summit in a cloud of mist, the carriage of a cable car shifted to the center of the picture, the Niagara Falls, a small steamboat full of tourists surrounded by a spray of water approaching a huge waterfall, the coast and a fisherman. Details, particularly, human images that do not stand out as individuals, become the key to understanding the artistic design that surpasses mere landscape aesthetics in its pure form.
In the mid-nineties Gursky started using digital technology. He created a number of compositions where the images personify a different artistic ideal. From a distance you can see the formal structure of those works: color composition and contrasts. Up close you can see a microcosm of details and rich narrative contents requiring slow perception and deep comprehension. The artist combines the freedom of digital design with the traditional requirements of the classical school.
The topics of Gursky’s art also change. His lens sees the whole contemporary world in all its manifestations: stock exchanges, industrial facilities, concerts, sports competitions, famous architectural structures, supermarkets and junkyards of megapolises. But it is not photo journalism based on sensationalism and shocking effect – Andreas Gursky tries to show us his own view of the world in such a way that we can interpret both its objective contents and temptations ourselves. Andreas Gursky has recently won international recognition and popularity. In 2007, five personal exhibitions of this photographer were held in major museums and exhibition centers around the world and his work 99 Cents was sold at Sotheby’s auction in London for a record sum.
The exhibition in the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation had 29 of Gursky’s photographs from different periods, created both with optical and digital cameras. They included such works as Klausenpass (1984), Aerial Railway, Dolomite Alps (1987), Hong Kong, Shanghai Bank (1994), Kuwait, Stock Exchange (2007), May Day V (2006) and Monaco (2006).
The exhibition was open from April 11 to May 18, 2008 in the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation at Moscow, 21/5 Kuznetsky Most, entrance #8. Enter from Bolshaya Lubyanka Street. Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (except Mondays).
Exhibition curator: Olga Sviblova.
The project is presented by the Moscow House of Photography and the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation.
The exhibition is organized by Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany. With the support of the Goethe Institute.
only in german
Kurator: Olga Sviblova