Art I LOVE Andreas Gursky

 

99 per cent

I have always been a fan of abstract photography.  I particularly admire the work of German visual artist Andreas Gursky (b. Jan 15 1955 Leipzig)   Primarily he is a photographer – but it’s what he does with these photographs which makes his art so visually arresting.  His landscape colour photography is huge in scale and can be a little disorienting, whilst the vibrant colours of the photographs make his work alive and immediate.

Gursky was taught at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf by German artists by Hilla and Bernd Becher –  well-known for their collaboration on photographic images of industrial buildings and machinery.  Gorsky’s photographs are big, colourful and dynamic and his subject matter includes offices, industrial plants, high-rise buildings, hotels and warehouses. The artist began digitally manipulating and editing his images after 1990, bringing out particular aspects and controlling perspective.

  His work has been called ‘vast’ ‘Splashy’, ‘entertaining and ‘unbelievable’ by art critic Peter Schjeldahl.  But the images compositional and formal considerations have also been likened to paintings. This is what the artist himself had to say about his own work at the Gagosian Gallery USA last year;-

   Space is very important for me but in a more abstract way. Maybe to try to understand not just that we are living in a certain building or in a certain location, but to become aware that we are living on a planet that is going at enormous speed through the universe. I read a picture not for what’s really going on there, I read it more for what is going on in our world generally.
–Andreas Gursky

Kuwait Stock Exchange II

My personal favourite work by Gorsky is 99 Per Cent.  The work started out in a 99 cent discount store. Splashes of colour are separated by columns.  The work is meant to convey the aesthetics and the structures of materialism, so it seems almost ironic that the work (a diptych), sold at auction at Sotheby’s in 2007 for a price of US$3.34 million, making it famous as the most expensive photograph in the world.  Scale plays a part in which way Gursky’s photo’s are exhibited and viewed.  For example 99 Per Cent measures 6 ‘ 9 1/2″ x 11’ (207 x 337 cm) 

Shanghai

These fictional photographs are based on fact (his original photographs), and he has collaged these images, focusing in certain colours, altering and ordering.   We in turn participate in Gursky’s art by translating these facts.  Though his photographs convey consumerism and may have political connotations, these images are still open for us, the viewer to interpret.

Pyongyang

 

More about Gursky here

Gursky quote and Ocean 11 image from here 

Shanghai. 2000 image Kuwait Stock Exchange image from here Pyongyang 1 2007  image from here

other images from here and here

More great photos can be found here

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8 Responses to “Art I LOVE Andreas Gursky”

  1. Have just recently been exposed to the work of Rosie Hardy. I don’t know a blink about photography and have given up trying to take pictures(just buying the post cards is better) but I think her stuff is pretty cool.

  2. musicman50 Says:

    That was very interesting! Quite amazing photographs. My brother-in-law is a professional photographer, I’ll have to ask if he’s ever attempted something like these!
    I suppose there will be people who say that photos are not really ‘art’ in the way a painting or sculpture is. But I like these. The only other guy like this I’ve come across is David Graham who does some wacky stuff – http://www.davidgrahamphotography.com

    Presumably Gursky sells these photos – do you have any idea how much they fetch?

    • Gursky’s 99 Per Cent sold at auction at Sotheby’s in 2007 for a price of US$3.34 million, making it famous as the most expensive photograph in the world. Photographs aren’t painting, they’re about capturing a moment, but I think the way the photograph is taken or manipulated or they way it provokes, or invokes or effects emotional feeling is art. I had a look at David Graham musicman50, – very wacky stuff there and artistic – lending itself almost to surrealism 🙂

  3. I like all of these images. Thank you for introducing this very interesting photographer, Lynda!

  4. Interesting post. Although his photography works particularily bad in a small format like this. Large they are indeed unbelievable.

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