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  • Provenance

    Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Andreas Gursky is internationally renowned for his large-scale color photographs of the landscapes and architectural structures that reflect our contemporary global environment. When experienced in person, the size and antiseptic depiction of his pictures is disorienting. In Taipei, 1999, a hotel atrium in the capital of the Republic of China overwhelms viewers with its super-structure to the point of losing its individual and thus knowable presence. Using the tools of modern technology, Gursky photographed a particular place and abstracted its image into a larger schema. In a published interview with Veit Gorner, Gursky described his intentions in creating such an image: “On a formal level, countless interrelated micro and macrostructures are woven together, determined by an overall organizational principle. A closed microcosm which, thanks to my distanced attitude towards my subject, allows the viewer to recognize the hinges that hold the system together.”

    As a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher at Germany’s State Art Academy, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Gursky was introduced to the dispassionate and methodical styleconnected to Conceptualism. Expanding upon his teachers’ contemporary straight photographs and their seemingly Conceptual or scientific distance, Gursky started to build his pictures with a computer using multiple shots and interweaving the individual images into an overriding view – an omniscient perspective. Speaking of his innovative technique while photographing industries all over the world, Gursky said, “If these companies had been systematically documented one would have had the feeling one was back in the days of the Industrial Revolution. After this experience I realized that photography is no longer credible, and therefore found it that much easier to legitimize digital picture processing.”

    In the Bechers’ work viewers are met with corresponding and multiple relics of the industrial past, while the singular largeness of Gursky’s photographs, such as Taipei, corresponds to the current internet understanding of things well beyond the reach of human sensory scope. It is this new global, interconnected and beyond-the-individual point of view that makes Andreas Gursky one of the most important photographers of our time.

187

Taipei

1999
Color coupler print, Diasec mounted.
63 x 88 1/2 in. (160 x 224.8 cm)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil on the verso. One from an edition of 2.

Estimate
$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $302,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1245

Photographs

4 April 2012
New York