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Thread: Andreas Gursky

  1. #1
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Andreas Gursky

    There is a nice piece in the current issue of The New Yorker (22 January 2001) on Andreas Gursky, a German photographer known for his ultra-large prints, many of which exploit the sort of detail one could only capture in large format . Some of his prints involve digital manipulation. All are color. They are al l in a postmodern vein, borrowing some of the slickness of commercial art for mo re creative ends. It might not be to everyone's taste, LF-photographers often b eing traditionalists, but he is pushing the medium into interesting directions.

    I have not seen any of these prints in person yet, but there are a few reproduct ions in the article, and they look like they would be very interesting in their 7x11-foot versions.

  2. #2

    Andreas Gursky

    I saw one of his exhibitions in London about two years ago. His style may have evolved, but as you say, the pictures are not to everyone's taste (though perhaps more because of their blandness than anything controversial or shocking). The prints look a bit commercial to me too, and alas, the grain freak in me wondered what they would have looked like if he had used 8x10 instead of 4x5 ;-)

    I'm no close student of art, but a successful sculptor friend remarks that these days large size is almost de rigeur and eases entry into the ranks of the commercially successful for the striving artist...

    If I recall from the notes correctly, he uses mostly EPN and color negative...

    Commonplace objects and situations (a window display of shoes, a riverbank, river and sky) shot to emphasise color and geometric areas of color arrangement within the 4x5 frame...

  3. #3

    Andreas Gursky

    That sounds like a description of every picture in every glossy photo mag these days. Pattern and colour, pattern and colour, that's all that seems to get published.A few years back, I asked the editor of a well-known UK photo publication why they didn't select anything with a more intellectual content. He got quite upset, and stated that there was no demand for such pictures! Maybe dumbing down in the arts, and content free pictures, are what people want. I'd like to hear your views, please.

  4. #4

    Andreas Gursky

    Maybe dumbing down in the arts, and content free pictures, are what people want. I'd like to hear your views, please.

    YES. Let alone, human content or taking a stand about something. It's the clip art syndrome-forget history and specificity of time and pla

  5. #5

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    Andreas Gursky

    Pete, I suspect that TV and cinema special effects along with video games have numbed one or more generations to subtlety, simple elegance and concise complexity. If something doesn't flash or jump, isn't intensely colorful or fails to stand out with strong pattern, "the target market," i.e. purchasers of most photo publications, won't take time to figure it out. Instant gratification is demanded. Sad, but true.

  6. #6

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    Andreas Gursky

    Mani,

    You said that Gursky shoots his pictures on 4 x 5--are you sure? They look like they were shot on 8 x 10 or even 11 x 14, but maybe that's because of the relative lack of a loss of sharpness and resolution, due to the digital technology he employs. Anyway, do you or does anyone else know for sure which format Gursky shoots? I have been wondering about this for some time.

  7. #7

    Andreas Gursky

    yeah, right. print anything big enough and people will think it must be art. big gets attention, and that is critical in the art world.

  8. #8

    Andreas Gursky

    i don't need to defend gursky but this discussion has gotten off the subject. gursky is an artist who makes photographs for exhibition, not publication. he does not need to please photo editors at magazines. like it or not, i don't think one can lump it in with glossy "pattern and colour." he is currently one of the most celebrated artists in the world and is having a major retrospective at moma (this alone should afford him some artistic credibility). i have seen his large prints and they are very impressive, but of course if you view them from 1 or 2 feet they look grainy (many are shot on 8x10 and are more than 10x enlargements). while there has been a "dumbing down" of society and culture, i don't see how it relates to gursky's work. if anything a background in art history is needed to fully appreciate the photographs (usually met with charges of being too intellectual, not too dumb).it may not be your cup of tea but it is hardly content free. if you are in nyc i would suggest seeing his show at moma and reading a little background information, then judge for yourself.

  9. #9

    Andreas Gursky

    Or buy his book... It's really an interesting approach of seeing our world. And some pictures are quite a lesson how to use Large Format. G.Zuili

  10. #10

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    Andreas Gursky

    Adam, just to clarify, I was answering Pete's request for others' views on the situation he described. I've not seen Gursky's work. Perhaps Tuan could relocate out our posts into another, appropriately titled thread?

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