Andreas Gursky, Bangkok II, 2011, inkjet print, 120 7/8 × 93 3/8 × 2 1/2 inches framed (307 × 237 × 6.4 cm), edition 5/6 © Andreas Gursky/SIAE, Italy.
Just as history painters of previous centuries found their subjects in the realities of everyday life, Andreas Gursky finds inspiration in his own spontaneous visual experience and via reports of global phenomena in the daily media. The resulting pictures have a formal congruence deriving from a bold and edgy dialogue between photography and painting, empirical observation and artfulness, conceptual rigor and spontaneity, representation and abstraction. Grappling with the abstract aesthetic structures that underlie manmade or natural environments, and reconstructing real subjects according to his inner eye, Gursky presents a world view that fuses the flux of life and nature with the stillness of metaphysical reflection.
Andreas Gursky was born in 1955 in Leipzig, former East Germany. He attended Folkwangschule, Essen, from 1978 to 1981, and Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, from 1981 to 1987. Recent major museum exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2001, traveled to Reina Sofia, Madrid; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, through 2012); Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2007); “Retrospective 1984–2007,” Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007, traveled to Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey; Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Ekaterina Foundation, Moscow, through 2008); “Works 80–08,” Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany (2008, traveled to Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, through 2009); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Germany (2008); Museum Haus Esters Haus Lange, Germany (2008); Pinchuk Art Center, Ukraine (2008); “Andreas Gursky at Louisiana,” Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2012); Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2012); The National Art Center, Tokyo (2013); National Museum of Art, Osaka (2014); “Landscapes,” Parrish Art Museum, New York (2015); Museum Frieder Burda, Germany (2015–16); and “Andreas Gursky—not abstract,” Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2016). Gursky’s work is featured in important public and private collections throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; National Galleries of Art, Edinburgh; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf.
Gursky currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.