Andreas Gursky - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Sotheby's New York, 'Contemporary Art Part 2', 18 May 2000, lot 106
    Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Andreas Gursky, 4 March - 15 May 2001

  • Literature

    Galass Peter, Andreas Gursky, 2001, pl. 41 (text p. 31)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Giordano Bruno, from 1989, marks a touchstone of Andreas Gursky’s early work while at the same time, predicates motifs that Gursky has carried through to the present. From the 1980s to the 1990s, contemporary artists using the medium of photography such as Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall were gaining vital momentum, broadening the scope of photography within contemporary art. Wall, whose work was shown early in Germany, proved to be a key influence for Gursky at this time. Gursky, havingrecently graduated from Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under the tutelage of Bernd and Hilla Becher, was working in colour and experimenting with a more fluid approach – momentarily abandoning the Becher’s typological method. The freedom of the lens is evident in Giordano Bruno as the image hints at a quiet, unfolding narrative.

    The title of the work refers to the sixteenth-century mathematician and philosopher, Giordano Bruno, which Gursky uses to abstractly contextualize the scene. The artist photographed the two men as they were – one elder, one younger – seated on a bench within a sand dune in the Netherlands, engaged in a deep conversation about mathematics. Gursky directly cites Wall as inspiration for this work, remarking: “without knowing Jeff Wall, I would not have noticed this situation.” (Interview, A.Gursky and N. Tousley, “Andreas Gursky: Interview with Insight”, Canadian Art Magazine, 2009, online). Marked by an early process, Gursky, in his own words, describes his early work being “based on visual experience.” (Interview, A. Gursky and G. Lane, 2009, online). Deviating momentarily from the premeditated image which he would later return to, Gursky transcends the snapshot in these early works.

    Curator Kaspar König had suggested that these new photographs should be called Sonntagsbilder, or “Sunday pictures.” Gursky, from the beginning, was interested in the sociocultural aspect of human existence. From images of leisure in these Sunday pictures of the 1980s to the chaos of the 1990s stock exchange to Pyongyang, North Korea in the millennium, Gursky’s timeless focus remains on human existence. Here, the result is an image of Gursky’s invested interest in isolated narratives while embracing an early metaphor of leisure in our society.


Giordano Bruno

frame 144.6 x 171.6 cm. (56 7/8 x 67 1/2 in.)
sheet 140.6 x 167.5 cm. (55 3/8 x 65 7/8 in.)

Signed, titled, dated and numbered 'Giordano Bruno 1989 1/4 Andreas Gursky' on the reverse. This work is number 1 from an edition of 4.

£35,000 - 45,000 ‡♠

Sold for £47,500

Contact Specialist
George O’Dell
Head of Day Sale
+44 207 318 4093

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London 28 June 2013 2pm