Andreas Gursky - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 10, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich Private collection, Dallas

  • Exhibited

    New York, Matthew Marks Gallery, Andreas Gursky, November 15, 1997 – January 3, 1998 (another example exhibited)Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Andreas Gursky: Photographs from 1984 to the Present, August 29 – October 18, 1998 (another example exhibited)Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Andreas Gursky: Photographs 1994-1998; Winterthur, Fotomuseum; London, Serpentine Gallery; Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea; Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belém, January 1994 – December 1997 (another example exhibited)Baltimore, Contemporary Museum, Insite 98: Mysterious Voyages: Exploring the Subject of Photography, February 7, 1999 – May 2, 1999 (another example exhibited)New York, Museum of Modern Art, Andreas Gursky, March 4 – May 15, 2001 (another example exhibited)Munich, Haus der Kunst, Andreas Gursky, February 17 – May 13, 2007; Istanbul, Istanbul Museum of Art, May 30 – August 26, 2007 (another example exhibited)Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Andreas Gursky: Architecture, May 11 – September 7, 2008 (another example exhibited)Krefeld, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Haus Lange und Haus Esters, Andreas Gursky, October 12, 2008 – January 25, 2009; Stockholm, Moderna museet, February 21 – May 3, 2009; Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery, May 30 – September 20, 2009 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    M. Syring, Andreas Gursky: Photographs from 1984 to the Present, Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, 1998, pp. 122-123 (another example illustrated)V. Görner, Andreas Gursky: Photographs 1994-1998, Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 1998, p. 52 (another example illustrated)P. Galassi, Andreas Gursky, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 2001, no. 53, pp. 168-169 (another example illustrated)A. Gursky, Andreas Gursky, Paris, Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou, 2002, pp. 26-27 (another example illustrated)T. Weski, Andreas Gursky, Cologne, Haus der Kunst, pp. 52-53 (another example illustrated)R. Beil, Andreas Gursky: Architecture, Ostfildern, Institut Mathildenhöhe, 2008, p. 47 (another example illustrated)M. Hentschel, Andreas Gursky : Werke 80-08, Krefeld, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, 2008, pp. 156-157 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Prada II, 1997, glows with an ethereal beauty in its geometric simplicity and soft color palette which fill the entirety of the twelve foot long composition. The pale pink floor and mint green shelving of the interior are almost spiritual, as the scene emulates a calming and contemplative atmosphere. Three illuminated white shelves are emptied of their contents; the absence of materials peaks our intellectual curiosity as we try to understand the sparseness of the composition, void of both product and people. The barren interior of the Italian luxury boutique, Prada, prompts questions about the role of commerce and globalization in our consumer-driven modern society. Prada II, 1997, challenges not only contemporary notions of photography, but the very ideas about the modern world. The sparse and pure aesthetic of the store interior, which was originally curated like a museum displaying the products as iconic objects, as captured in Prada I, 1996, alludes to the sacred atmosphere of a religious edifice; this temple of beauty and consumerism offers a powerful and spiritual examination of the forces of globalization in modern society.Underlying Gursky’s strict geometry and simplistic forms is a deep appreciation of art historical traditions. The geometric purity of Prada II, 1997, aligns with Sixteenth-Century studies in linear perspective, the illusion of three dimensional space on a two dimensional surface. The composition, simply comprised of only two colors, gleaming lights, and parallel lines, further exudes a hallowed atmosphere, deeply rooted in the traditions of both Minimalism and Conceptualism. The perfect regularity and formality of the display shelves is heightened by the extreme frontal perspective, a departure from his usual aerial perspective typical of many of his series.Prada II, 1997, comes from a period in which Gursky increasingly relied on digital intervention in order to not only sharpen his picture, but also manipulate the image; in the case of the present lot, the shelves are extended to further emphasize the horizontality of the composition. This case of editing deliberately undermines our preconceived notions that photography as a medium is always truthful, hereby challenging photography as the throne of artistic verisimilitude. “As you can see, I have a weakness for paradox. For me, the photogenic and the authentic are two characteristics of the medium which would appear to be mutually exclusive. The photogenic allows a picture to develop a life of its own on a two-dimensional surface, which doesn’t exactly reflect the real object.” (Andreas Gursky quoted in “I generally let things develop slowly,” Fotografien 1994-1998: Andreas Gursky, Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 1998, p. vii).


Prada II

chromogenic color-print face-mounted to Plexiglas, in artist’s frame
image: 44 x 108 3/8 in. (111.8 x 275.3 cm)

frame: 65 x 124 1/8 in. (165.1 x 315.3 cm)

Signed, titled, numbered, and dated “Prada II, ‘97 3/6 A. Gursky’” on a label affixed to the reverse of the backing board. This work is number three from an edition of six.

$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $782,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

10 May 2012
New York