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Staff Report

CHICAGO, 23 June 2002 - First on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in the spring of 2001, this United States retrospective of the work of contemporary German artist Andreas Gursky (b. 1955) presents some forty works surveying his achievement from 1984 to the present. Gursky’s world of the 1990s is big, high-tech, fast-paced, expensive, and global - very much like the computer-enhanced hotel lobby entitled Shanghai .

Andreas Gursky: Shanghai
Andreas Gursky. Shanghai, 2000
Chromogenic color print.
9' 11 5/16"x 6' 9 1/2" (280 x 200 cm).
Lent by the artist, courtesy Matthew Marks
Gallery, New York, and Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne
© 2001 Andreas Gursky.

The only child of a successful commercial photographer in Düsseldorf, Andreas Gursky spent two years in Essen at the Folkwangschule, which Otto Steinert had established as West Germany’s leading training ground for professional photographers, especially photojournalists. In the early 1980s, Gursky studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in his native Düsseldorf, which thanks to artists such as Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter had become the hotbed of Germany's vibrant postwar avant-garde. There Gursky learned the ropes of the art world and mastered the rigorous method of Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose photographs had achieved prominence within the Conceptual and Minimal art movements.

Gursky’s photographs explore the relationships between the documentary and the personal—as well as notions of order and disorder—often focusing on subjects such as tourism, factories, stock exchanges, and manifestations of global culture such as rave concerts.

Andreas Gursky
Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago, Illinois
22 June - 28 September 2002

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