Andreas Gursky - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    White Cube, London

  • Exhibited

    Munich, Haus der Kunst, Andreas Gursky, February 2 - April 13, 2007 (another example exhibited)
    London, Sprüth Magers, Andreas Gursky, March 22 - May 12, 2007 (another example exhibited)
    London, White Cube, Andreas Gursky, March 23 – May 4, 2007
    New York, Matthew Marks Gallery, Andreas Gursky, May 4 - June 30, 2007 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    T. Weski, Andreas Gursky, Cologne: Snoeck Verlangsgesellschaft GmbH, Cologne, 2007, pp. 115 - 117 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "I stand at a distance, like a person who comes from another world.”
    Andreas Gursky, 1988

    The present lot, James Bond Island II, 2007 is a monumental masterpiece by the German born photographer Andreas Gursky, acclaimed for his large format compositions depicting enormous scenes of modern commodities and institutional spaces of trade, culture, and power. But, as witnessed in the sweeping view of Khao Phing Kan in Thailand, he also has turned his attention to the organic forms and the cartography of nature. In James Bond Island II, 2007, ominous fragmented masses swim upon a silvery and metallic ocean. Pristine white beaches line the edges of the reefs, emitting a fluorescent glow that lends an angelic quality to this exotic never-land.

    Like many of Gursky’s photographic images, this particular composition of small islands could never be seen by the human eye in actuality. This multi-perspectival image has been digitally enhanced to create Gursky’s “God’s eye” panorama; the supernatural sharpness of the image stands at odds with the sense of distance and ambiguous scale with which the landscape has been depicted. Gursky has created an impossible scene in order to capture the serene beauty of the lagoon. The water stands deadly still while the small islands seem to fit like puzzle pieces, forming a composition of pictorial flatness, spatial remoteness, and incomparable elegance. A recent commentator has written: “The subject of Gursky’s work, is the contemporary locus of the sublime: a grand power in the face of which we feel our own smallness. Gursky’s vast photographs ---of the Hong Long stock exchange, massive ships docked at a harbor, cargo planes preparing to take off, a government building --- testify to this power. He freely manipulates his images, altering the architecture of the built and natural environments, creating repetitions, deepening colors, and collapsing time, in order to heighten the sense of the sublime.” (A. Ohlin, “Andreas Gursky and the Contemporary Sublime,” Art Journal, Vol. 61, No. 4, Winter, 2002, College Art Associations, p. 24)


Ο ◆27

James Bond Island II

chromogenic print, in artist's frame
image 112 x 79 in. (284.5 x 200.7 cm)
sheet 119 x 86 in. (302.3 x 218.4 cm)
frame 120 7/8 x 87 15/16 in. (307 x 223.4 cm)

Signed "Andreas Gursky" on a label affixed to the reverse. This work is number 4 from an edition of 6.

$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $725,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm