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

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  • Provenance

    Sprüth Magers, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    Dortmund from 2009 is undoubtedly one of Gursky's most wonderfully subtle, visually engaging, and ambitious attempts at deconstructing and challenging our own subjective perceptions of photographic realism. Through its vast and cinematic scope, we find an extraordinary instance of conceptual staging, the elevation of the mundane through visual dramatization, and the incorporation of the ideal of metaphysical transcendence of inanimate objects carried out through the manipulation of digital image editing. Gursky's very sharp eye goes beyond merely recording daily settings, his photographs are, decidedly, an investigative view that document the ways in which people behave. Through his imagery, he constructs highly complex realities, fundamentally evincing social truths which propel his oeuvre “towards achieving Andreas Gurky’s declared aim: an encyclopedia of life.”

    It is this very artistic and photographic style for which the acclaimed photographer is most renowned, that is masterfully displayed in Dortmund, 2009. This in turn, is highly representative of the acclaimed photographer's later works' defining artistic features. For what could be more quotidian than a sports game? It allows the viewer to realize how non-confrontational or controversial the image is, despite its impacting large format. The scene further discloses in a very subtle and inadvertent manner beauty and indifference, and in a slightly humorous way. Nevertheless, Gursky permits his viewer to distinguish the sublime and superficial elements in his works. Where the sublime in this case could arguably be seen in the chaotic and massive multitude of uniformed people, and one can almost sense the thrill, and hysteria of the crowd. The sheer amount of people, and sense of scale and proportion in the photograph also allude to the excitement and importance of the event. This illustrates his fondness for what Maire Luise Syring suitably states, are the “all over compositions”, that basically fill the entire surface of the picture, which is very boldly achieved in Dortmund. Yet Gursky tends to purposefully reduce, and almost completely diminish individuals, presenting them as a multitudinous mass, or a “concrete manifestation of economic interests, production mechanisms, or capital investments.” All of which are highly representative of Gursky's unique artistic style and conceptual enrichment of contemporary photography.



chromogenic print, in artist's frame
image 113 1/8 x 79 5/8 in. (287.2 x 202.3 cm)
sheet 119 1/4 x 85 1/4 in. (303 x 216.5 cm)
frame 120 7/8 x 87 5/8 x 2 1/2 in. (307 x 222.7 x 6.2 cm)

Signed "Andreas Gursky" on a gallery label affixed to the reverse. This work is number 3 from an edition of 4.

$500,000 - 700,000 

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