Thomas Struth, "Paradise 1, Daintree, Australia," 1998.*
Düsseldorf and Berlin based artist Thomas Struth is among the major representatives of the German photo scene. Numerous exhibitions over the past 15 years in Europe, the US, Japan, China, have earned this native of Germany's Lower Rhine region an international reputation. As early as 1992, Struth's works were on view at the documenta IX in Kassel. While to date only individual work series have been presented publicly, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen now offers the first European representative survey of Struth's production as a whole. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Kunsthaus Zürich. The Swiss version will be supplemented to approximately 100 motifs for the Düsseldorf presentation, which will feature a series of recent works, none of which have yet been shown publicly. A strong emphasis lies on the work of the past ten years. At K20 Grabbeplatz Struth has exclusively designed a new space-filling installation for one exhibition gallery.
Thomas Struth – who was trained at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, initially studying painting with Gerhard Richter, and photography with Bernd Becher beginning in 1976 – places exactitude of vision at the center of his aesthetic concerns. From the early Düsseldorf street scenes, to his images of the impenetrable undergrowth of the Asian jungle ("Paradises"), to the large-format museum pictures ("Audiences"), and all the way to the recent images of large-scale technical facilities: Struth repeatedly thematizes the relationship between beholder and subject. He avoids any obvious dramatization of his motifs, which he discovers on trips throughout Europe, the Americas, East Asia, and Australia. At a time when we are assaulted daily by a veritable flood of imagery, Thomas Struth is among the small number of outstanding artists who have succeeded in investing the photographic medium with a new intensity and potency.
Additional exhibition venues: London (Whitechapel Gallery, 06.07. – 16.09.2011)
Porto (Museu Fundação Serralves, 14.10.2011 – 29.01.2012)
Thomas Struth in collaboration with Frank Bungarten – Musik
In collaboration with guitarist Frank Bungarten, Thomas Struth presents Musik in the Labor, the exhibition space of the Department of Education. This project runs parallel to the exhibition and provides a striking acoustic counterpoint to the varied visual impressions encountered in the exhibition. Musik promotes a heightened experience of the works in the permanent collection. Audible is a selection of music chosen by Struth and Bungarten, which unites pieces from a variety of cultures and genres.
A project highpoint is formed by matinée lessons taking place in the Labor and given by highcaliber musicians in the presence of the public. By observing musicians at work, visitors can follow the process of elaboration and fine-tuning. This look behind the scenes will provide insight into the musical development, which precedes the making of the recordings heard in the Labor. Highlighted in many instances are creative processes that are also applicable to the visual arts. The matinée program will be released in March.