“URBAN SPACES” ANDREAS GURSKY, CANDIDA HOFER, AXEL HUTTE, THOMAS RUFF, THOMAS STRUTH
MAY 30 - END OF JULY 2009
Curated by Ludovico Pratesi, researcher and specialist in photography , the show will analyze the evolution on the concept of the city in contemporary culture through the ideas and images produced by the members of the so called Düsseldorf School of Photography, composed by five of its most distinguished artists: Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth.
The exhibition is composed by 45 works produced from the early eighties until recent times. It is designed to take the visitor first through the artists early works - those produced during their formative years at the Düsseldorf School - and continuing with their most recent body of work, in which an individual selection from each artist will emphasize their stylistic differences and personal characteristics.
The works selected by Fundación Proa is the result of the continuous dialogue between the artists and the curator and depicts the different interpretations and relation each artist has with the urban space. This is the first time Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth are joined in an exhibition under a common theme – the city – yet with various interpretations.
The exhibition will present works, such as May Day IV, by Andreas Gursky, or Candida Höfer´s Buenos Aires series. Also, less known works that exemplify the artists formation under the wing of Bernd Becher, photography teacher at the Dusseldorf School of Photography, can be appreciated. The body of work was conformed in collaboration with the artists, museums, art institutions, and private collectors.
The influence of the artists on the global artistic context is due to the overhaul their works produced on the tradition of the concept and language of photography, not only through the scale of the images in their monumental format, but also through the conceptual treatment they present. Each piece recreates a unique and defined universe that concentrates in the interrelation that exists between man and his surroundings together with all its anthropological and sociocultural implications.
During the 1980s, their teachers Bernd and Hilla Becher, conveyed the city theme as an important artistic reference. Subsequently each one of them developed a unique and personal style, following the drastic changes caused by the rapid globalization of urban cultures. Their images depicting different sites around the world, combine the local details with the usual feelings and experiences of contemporary societies. The Dusseldorf School became a reference within the art and photography scene.