Thomas Struth - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 3, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Schrimer/Mosel, Thomas Struth Museum Photographs, p. 101
    Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Thomas Struth - Pergamon Museum 1-6, n.p.
    Schirmer/Mosel, Thomas Struth: Photographs 1978-2010, p. 211
    Dallas Museum of Art, Thomas Struth 1977-2002, p. 52

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I think what happened was that the artworks in my photographs became a little bit more contemporary and the visitors were pushed back into history, because once I’ve photographed them, the moment has of course already passed. It created this double reflection of consciousness.”
    -Thomas Struth

    Between 1989-1990 Thomas Struth created his first Museum series, a now iconic body of work. As a highly observant image maker, Struth captured visitors in dialogue with renowned works of art, artifacts, and architecture, at five of the most prestigious institutions across the globe; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; The Louvre, Paris; The National Gallery, London; and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. In the mid-1990s, as a continuation of the series, Thomas Struth visited the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, but ultimately was dissatisfied with the pictures taken. He returned to the Pergamon a second time in 2001 and, in contrast with the first Museum pictures, positioned the visitors within the exhibition to achieve the composition he initially envisioned. The result, as visible in Pergamon Museum IV, Berlin, is an exceptionally balanced interweaving of both visitor and object within the museum context, and the narrative that unfolds.

    The present lot is one of only a few examples from Thomas Struth’s Museum series where he positioned the visitors, with the only other examples being the pictures taken at the Pantheon in Rome.

  • Artist Biography

    Thomas Struth

    Thomas Struth is a German photographer best known for his large-scale, classically composed photos of museum, cityscapes, and family portraits. Struth is a prominent member of the Düsseldorf School of Photography, the group of artists who studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the mid-1970s under influential photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. Struth’s highly centralized, balanced photos incorporate cutting-edge photographic techniques and the tenets of classical composition to develop the documentarian aims of the Bechers.

    Struth’s work has been widely celebrated by the international art community. He represented Germany at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 and has been the subject of major retrospectives including those at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Haus der Kunst, Munich. He lives and works in Berlin and New York.

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Property from a Distinguished Private Collection


Pergamon Museum IV, Berlin

Chromogenic print, face-mounted to Plexiglas.
56 3/4 x 89 3/4 in. (144.1 x 228 cm)
Overall 62 2/3 x 92 3/8 in. (159.2 x 234.6 cm)

Signed in pencil, printed credit, title, date and number 2/10 on a label affixed to the reverse of the frame; numbered 2/10 in ink on the reverse of the frame.

$100,000 - 150,000 

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New York 3 October 2017