For the first time in Australia, an exhibition by German contemporary photographer Andreas Gursky opened at the National Gallery of Victoria
From the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Andreas Gursky presents 21 major works for which the artist is internationally acclaimed.
The photographs range from 1989 to 2007 and include seminal works such as Tokyo Stock Exchange and the diptych 99 cent store.
Andreas Gursky is recognised as one of the worlds leading contemporary artists.
Well known for his large-scale (generally measuring an astounding four to five metres) and extraordinarily detailed photographs of contemporary life, Gursky continues the lineage of new objectivity in German photography which was brought to contemporary attention by Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Dr Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography, NGV said: Gursky has produced some of contemporary arts most gloriously abundant and charismatic images.
He takes the principles of objectivity and, through digital imaging and the scale and sophistication of his work, pushes photography to extreme lengths.
In essence, Gurskys work is concerned with the modern experience of life in a globalised world. Through a combination of enormous scale and precise pin-sharp detail, he represents the systems inherent in our complex, fast paced, consumerist society, said Dr Crombie.
In the 1990s, Gursky became inspired by the various manifestations of global capitalism. His interest was piqued looking at a newspaper photograph of the crowded floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and he began to photograph its flurry of suited traders, somehow moving according to some inbuilt order.
Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said the Andreas Gursky exhibition represented a significant coup for Melbourne: The National Gallery of Victoria is the only Australian venue for this extraordinary show the first major exhibition of Gursky's work ever to be seen in this country. Generously organised by the Haus der Kunst Museum in Munich we are extremely fortunate to have had the works in this show selected for us by Andreas Gursky himself.
Andreas Gursky was born in 1955 and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany. In the early 1980s, he studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germanys State Art Academy. Whilst there he was heavily influenced by his teachers Bernd and Hilla Becher, who were well known for their methodical black and white photographs of industrial machinery.
In 1984 Gursky began to move away from the Becher style, choosing instead to work in colour. Since then he has travelled across the world to cities such as Tokyo, Cairo, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Singapore and Los Angeles photographing factories, hotels and office buildings places he considered to be symbols of contemporary culture. His world-view photographs during this period are considered amongst the most original achievements in contemporary photography.
Gursky has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions including the Internationale Foto-Triennale in Esslingen, Germany in 1989 and 1995, the Venice Biennale in 1990, and the Biennale of Sydney in 1996 and 2000. In 2001, Gursky was the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.