This weekend, I spent a thought-provoking afternoon on London’s Southbank at the recently re-opened Hayward Gallery. The exhibition was a retrospective of one of my favourite art photographers – Andreas Gursky.
Gurksy is a German photographer closely associated with Dusseldorf where he studied with the iconic conceptual artists Bernd and Hilla Becher and where he continues to live and teach.
He is associated with large prints of photographs with no central subject but awash with intricate details, commenting on the human relationships with their built environments and consumerism.
His subjects are diverse but include Stock Exchanges, massive gymnastic displays in North Korea, a German rave, fishing on a river near a motorway and a Formula pit stop. His signature techniques include seamless collages of multiple angles and using a light telephoto lens at a long distance to flatten perspectives.
Gurksy famously plays with scale, saturated colour and shapes with the meaning of many of his pictures emerging as the viewer gets closer. My favourite Gursky photo is the mind-bending Kamiokande of a neutrino detector in Japan (left in the photo below).
For those of you who cannot visit the exhibition, you can watch this video where Director of Hayward Gallery, Ralph Rugoff, gives a short tour and his thoughts on the exhibition.
You can also view many of Gursky’s works on his website – www.andreasgursky.com. But I would recommend seeing them in person if you have a chance as a computer screen just does not do them justice. The exhibition at the Hayward Gallery funds until 22 April 2018.