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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Australia
Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
MELBOURNE  •  National Gallery of Victoria  •  Ongoing

German artist Andreas Gursky (b. 1955) presents 21  photographs spanning from 1989 to 2007 and include major works such as Tokyo Stock Exchange and the diptych 99 cent store.

Andreas Gursky: Tokyo Stock Exchange, 1990
205.0 x 260.0 x 6.2 cm
© Andreas Gursky /VG Bild-Kunst
Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
Photo courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria

In the 1990s, Gursky became inspired by the various manifestations of global capitalism. His interest was piqued looking at a newspaper photograph of the crowded floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and he began to photograph its flurry of suited traders, somehow moving according to some inbuilt order.

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.

Gursky has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions including the Internationale Foto-Triennale in Esslingen, Germany in 1989 and 1995, the Venice Biennale in 1990, and the Biennale of Sydney in 1996 and 2000. In 2001, Gursky was the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The Melbourne show was organised by the Haus der Kunst Museum in Munich and the works chosen by Andreas Gursky.

National Gallery of Victoria Web Site

Contact: NGV International
180 St Kilda Road,
Melbourne, Australia
Tel: (61) 3 8620 2222

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