Andreas Gursky makes large-scale, colour photographs distinctive for their incisive and critical look at the effect of capitalism and globalisation on contemporary life. Gursky studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie in the early 1980s and first adopted a style and method closely following Becher’s systematic approach to photography, creating small, black-and-white prints. In the early 1980s, however, he broke from this tradition, using colour film and spontaneous observation to make a series of images of people at leisure, such as hikers, swimmers and skiers, depicted as tiny protagonists in a vast landscape. Since the 1990s, Gursky has concentrated on sites of commerce and tourism, making work that draws attention to today’s burgeoning high-tech industry and global markets. His imagery ranges from the vast, anonymous architecture of modern day hotel lobbies, apartment buildings and warehouses to stock exchanges and parliaments in places from as far a field as Shanghai, Brasília, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Although his work adopts the scale and composition of historical landscape paintings, his photographs are often derived from inauspicious sources: a black and white photograph in a newspaper, for example, that is then researched at length before the final photograph is shot and often altered digitally before printing.
Andreas Gursky was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1955. He has exhibited internationally, including Manifesta, Zurich (2016); 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Venice Biennale of Architecture (2004); Shanghai Biennale (2002); 25th São Paolo Biennial (2002), and the Sydney Biennial (2000). He has had numerous solo exhibitions, including Hayward Gallery, London (2018); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K20, Düsseldorf (2016); Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill (2015); The National Art Centre, Tokyo, The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2014); The National Art Center, Tokyo (2013); Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek (2012); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Vancouver Art Gallery (2009); Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2008); Kunstmuseum Basel (2007); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007); Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2001), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2001), and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (1998). Group shows have included, The Broad, Los Angeles, Stadel Museum, Frankfurt, Fondation Cartier, Paris (2017); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek (2016); Turner Contemporary, Margate, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, La Triennale di Milano, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2015); Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Barbican Art Gallery, London, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014).