Andreas Gursky


*1955 in Leipzig, Germany
Lives in
Düsseldorf, Germany
Works with

After studying at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf (1981 – 1987) with the well-known conceptual photographers Hilla and Bernd Becher, he became a master pupil in 1985. His teachers are both known for their distinctive, dispassionate method of systematically cataloging industrial machinery and architecture.

Since 1988, he has directed his attention to immense formats several metres in size. Characteristic of these works is their harmony of composition and forceful palette. Using a large-format camera, Gursky chooses a slightly elevated angle from which to photograph landscapes, buildings and interiors, most of them brimming with a disconcerting array of almost indistinguishable detail. The conspicuous lack of dominant visual elements makes everything on the picture plane equivalent: there is no hierarchical order. Although the influence of the documentary practice cultivated by the Becher School is unmistakable, Gursky does not focus on single items: his is a world of multiplicity and surfeit.

Since the 1990s, Andreas Gursky uses digital rendering to edit and enhance his pictures, creating spaces larger than the subjects photographed. In the course of his career, the artist has refined his use of montage to the point of creating extreme images like the James Bond Islands Pyongyang series (2007).