25 September 2014 – 11 January 2015
Andreas Gursky is among 18 leading photographers featured in the Barbican’s new exhibition ‘Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age’.
Bringing together over 250 works, ‘Constructing Worlds’ creates a global journey of 20th- and 21st-century architecture. The exhibition spaces have themselves been reconfigured with sweeping new partition walls created in response to the works. The exhibition is organized chronologically, moving from recent works to those as early as the 1930s, as well as thematically.
Gursky’s works are grouped with others which explore the duality: architects’ intentions and the lived experience of those inhabiting the buildings. Gursky’s Paris, Montparnasse (1993) utilizes the monumental scale that has become his signature, depicting a modernist housing project from a perspective that tends toward abstraction, yet revealing details of the human lives within visible – an effect achieved through a combination of digital and analogue photography techniques. São Paulo, Sé (2002) also achieves this tension between the diminished individual and its surroundings – its title a play on the name of the subway station it depicts, which also means ‘cathedral’ in Portuguese.
Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican, said of the exhibition: ‘Photography and architecture have a long and shared history and yet amazingly this is the first major exhibition in London to throw light on this relationship. […] It is a must see for anyone interested in how we understand architecture and equally the dramatic global shifts in society in the post-war period’.
Other artists include: Berenice Abbott, Iwan Baan, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hélène Binet, Walker Evans, Luigi Ghirri, Andreas Gursky, Lucien Hervé, Nadav Kander, Luisa Lambri, Simon Norfolk, Bas Princen , Ed Ruscha, Stephen Shore, Julius Shulman, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Guy Tillim.
The exhibition is curated by Alona Pardo and Elias Redstone and designed by the internationally recognised Brussels architecture firm, Office KGDVS, led by Kersten Geers and David Van Severen.
Barbican Art Gallery
020 7638 4141
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December 2014
Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age Barbican Art Gallery 25 Sept 2014 – 11 Jan 2015
© Chris Jackson / Getty Images