Andreas Gursky - Photographs 1995-2007
Espace Louis Vuitton Beijing
China World Mall South Zone W. Bldg. 1 Jianguomenwai Ave.
T. +86 216 1332 856
Open everyday From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For its fifth exhibition within the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s “Hors-les-murs” programme, the Espace Louis Vuitton Beijing announces the opening of Photographs 1995-2007 an exhibition dedicated to Andreas Gursky. This exhibition showcases emblematic works of the German artist’s oeuvre belonging to the Collection.
Discover the oeuvre of Andreas Gursky through the juxtaposition of two works that belong to the Collection: an early piece (Engadin I, 1995) and a monumental ensemble (F1 Boxenstopp I-IV, 2007). Reprensentative of Gursky’s body of work, these pieces cover over a decade of the artist’s view on our contemporary world.
His series of photographs, depicting sites as supermarket, skyscrapers, celebration and sport events, are a sharp inventory of the post-modern society production, with the chaos of a crowd dwelling in, thus revealing the violent character of social constraint on human environments. A ceaseless journey to emblematic sites of trade, exchange, accumulation or dispersion, Gursky’s works – often released in very large prints – are designed with unwavering attention to effectiveness, be it in the power of stripping away the superfluous or through pitiless presentation of swarming objects or individuals.
For Gursky, a photographic image must be produced as an object that obeys its own aesthetic logic. One of the first artists to use computer technology in the 1990s, he has been digitally manipulating his photographs after the fact, blurring the ability to define a true “decisive moment”, erasing entire segments of the source image, reducing or enhancing, duplicating or adding other fragments – without ever showing any traces of manipulation – to achieve greater symmetry or contrast; and with such virtuosity that the credibility of the photograph cannot be questioned, based on a reality whose appearances are the products of manipulation.
Andreas Gursky, born in 1955 to a family of photographers in Germany, studied photography at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. His masters Bernd and Hilla Becher’s detached and objective point of view on post-industrial society deeply influenced his works, focusing since the 1980s on confronting a contemporary spectacle-centred society and its consequent new series of challenges.
As of the 1990s his series have catalogued sites that are emblematic of global society, such as supermarkets, skyscrapers, factories, car parks, festivals and sporting events. Constructed around key elements that are sometimes located within the chaos of a crowd, his works reflect a paradoxical approach in which man’s obvious influence on his environment also highlights the aggressive social constraints experienced by individuals. One of the first photographers to use digital manipulation at the start of the 1990s, Gursky edits his images by removing, duplicating, reducing or enhancing sections of the original image. With their formal composition and large sizes, the works are like photographic paintings that freeze time, in which the duplication and clarity of details creates the paradoxical effect of abstraction. Rather than seeking to reflect reality, Gursky constructs his images as objects that obey his own aesthetic logic.