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Artist Spotlight: Andreas Gursky

Alexander Lukjanenko on
Artist Spotlight: Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky: Landscape Photographer & Professor

Born on January 15th, 1955, Andreas Gursky is a well-regarded German photographer. He is primarily known for taking colored photos that encapsulate large-scale landscapes. His photos have earned high praise around the world, and some of them have been sold for millions of dollars at art sales. If you have any interest in taking photos, spend a few minutes reading about Gursky and learn about his unique style of photography.

Artist’s History and Education

Gursky lived in Leipzig during the earliest years of his life. Shortly after he was born his family moved to West Germany, and eventually settled into Düsseldorf by the end of 1957. From 1977 to 1980 Gursky attended the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. After finishing up there he spent the next seven years studying at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Arts Academy of Düsseldorf.

Gursky developed his signature style of photography after receiving critical training from Bernd and Hilla Becher, two well-regarded photographers who taught at the academy he attended. He was also inspired by British photographer John Davies, who was known for taking photos from high vantage points. In recent years, Gursky earned a position as a professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

The Artist’s Style

As a contemporary photographer, Gursky primarily focuses on taking pictures from an elevated point of view. Gursky is fascinated by large man-made spaces, and his goal has always been to encapsulate as much of these large spaces as he can in his photos. By taking photos from an aerial perspective he is able to showcase a scene in its entirety, something that would be impossible to do from a standard vantage point.

Gursky likes to take photos of locations that have some kind of sentimental relationship with the human population, since this allows more people to connect with his works. Gursky usually takes photos and leaves them as they are, but since the 1990’s he has occasionally used digital editing to enhance certain aspects of his photos.

Examples of His Work

One of Gursky’s most well-known photographs is one known as Rhine II. The image depicts a horizontal view of the Rhine River while an overcast hangs in the sky. It was originally displayed at the Sprüth Magers art gallery before it was put up for auction by an anonymous art collector. The print was sold for 4.3 million dollars in 2011, making it the most expensive photograph ever sold.

Another famous photograph that Gursky took is known as the 99 Cent II, Diptychon. This photo shows the interior of a 99 Cents Only Store located in Los Angeles. The photograph was recognized for its wide variety of colors, which came from the large collection of products available at the store. Gursky features many of his photos on his website, and you can go here to look at some of them.

Where You Can See His Work

If you want to take a look at some of Gursky’s works you are in luck, because many of them are on display throughout the United States. The Modern Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York both host collections of photos taken by Gursky. Another collection can be found at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

In addition, Gursky’s art is displayed at many exhibitions around the world, and many have been held at the Gagosian Gallery and the Parrish Art Museum in New York. If you want to keep up-to-date with Gursky’s exhibitions, please look here.

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