“Not Abstract II”
New York, 555 West 24th Street
German artist Andreas Gursky, known to hold the highest auction result for any living photographer, dissects the raison d’être of photography, depicting realities embedded in unrealistic settings. Influenced by the legendary photographer couple Hilla and Bernd Becher, under whom he studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during the ‘80s, Gursky concentrated on capturing industrial landscapes, a field he over the years mastered, expanding to the depiction of consumerist aesthetic overall.
Introducing digital manipulation into his practice in the ‘90s, Gursky delivered some of the most mesmerizing and hallucinatory photographic works in recent history. Shot often times from a bird’s-eye view with a dose of documentary approach, the artist’s photographs of shopping malls, supermarket aisles, or stock markets blur the line between reality and imagination.
Endless lines of goods in beaming colors at an Amazon storage facility or sunbathers blanketing the beach in Southern Italy equally complicate what the eye sees, while offering alternative modes looking at the reality as well as the elements constituting it. Not Abstract II additionally offers a sound installation by Canadian DJ and producer Richie Hawtin. “Space is very important for me but in a more abstract way, I think. Maybe to try to understand not just that we are living in a certain building or in a certain location, but to become aware that we are living on a planet that is going at enormous speed through the universe. For me it’s more a synonym. I read a picture not for what’s really going on there, I read it more for what is going on in our world generally.” says Gurksy in an interview with Canadian Art in 2009 about the use of scale in his works.
November 10 — December 23, 2016