Andreas Gursky, who was born in 1955 in Leipzig and now lives in Düsseldorf, requires little introduction these days. For many years Gursky has ranked among the world's leading photographic artists, and since his recent exhibitions in 2007-08 we have been able to gain an even greater understanding of his work. Now, for the first time ever, an attempt is being made to unfurl the artist's oeuvre in all its encyclopedic glory. Gursky has chosen over 130 works from his fund of photographs, reaching back in time to his student days at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen, followed by the period in which he studied in the class run by Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Beginning with the earliest exposures, such as the Desk Attendants and other unpublished photographs, the exhibition describes an enormous trajectory that takes us to his most recent works, which were conceived specially for the exhibition in Krefeld.
The exhibition was made possible when the artist decided to make new prints of his entire oeuvre - everything except for a few of his most recent works - in small dimensions as model examples. This was a radical decision, given that for many years now the public has associated Gursky's output with large formats. But at last it is possible to study his work over the decades in one comprehensive exhibition. With his exhibition in the museums Haus Lange and Haus Esters in Krefeld, Gursky has also returned physically to his beginnings, because it was here in 1989 that he had his first museum exhibition. The exhibition will be traveling to the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and to the Vancouver Art Gallery (spring 2009).
Catalogue: Andreas Gursky. Works 80 - 08, Hatje Cantz,Verlag, Ostfildern, 272 pages, 155 plates, text by Martin Hentschel. Price at the museum: 30 Euro.