After a two-year renovation in London, the famous Hayward Gallery opened, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. The first exhibition in the updated spaces was a large-scale retrospective of the German photographer Andreas Gursky.
Exactly ten years ago, in 2008, within the framework of the Moscow Photobiennale in the Cultural Foundation “Ekaterina”, a retrospective of the famous German also took place. Since then, the volumes of his retrospectives have more than doubled – in London they show about seventy large-scale images of canvases. And in the rating of the most expensive photos in the world, he managed to beat his own record in 2007, when at Sotheby’s “99 cents II” were sold for $ 3.3 million – in 2011, the work of “Rhine II” went to Christie’s for $ 4.3 million.
The sixty-two-year-old photographer belongs to the famous Düsseldorf school. In the late 1980s he began his experiments with computer transformations of images with images of symbolic places of the planet, genre scenes from the world economy and everyday life. Gursky skillfully combined the same geometrically verified frame several times, turning the image into an “infinite”, sometimes absurd, but invariably attractive sequence. This “property” he had buildings, seas and rivers, plantations, exchanges, streets, as well as collectives of people in discos, shops, parks and arenas. And the basis of the exhibition in Hayward Gallery is composed of the most famous of his works. Among them – “Paris, Montparnasse”, the last record-work “Rhine II”, “May Day IV”.
Of the recent works performed in his recognizable style, the exposition included images from North Korea with performances by local athletes at the Mass Games and rubbish-strewn highway in the Spanish El Ejido. Not without the camera smartphone: the series “Ibiza”, “Mobile Nr.1” and “Utah” are exhibited here in an unusually small for the master format.