Andreas Gursky: Architecture
Edited by Sonja Fessel. Text by Ralf Beil, Aleida Assmann, Jan Assmann, Elisabeth Bronfen, Sonja Fessel, et al.
A Japanese power plant, dilapidated slums, the patterned facades of an apartment complex in Paris--in the work of German art photographer Andreas Gursky, born in 1955 in Leipzig, both private dwellings and the domains of industrial and political power are made into sometimes awe-inspiring and always overpowering forces of urban life. Gursky's signature mix of epic sweep and extreme detail is ideally suited to the portrayal of large-scale architecture, eliciting its most salient features: The capacity to dwarf, to impress, to alienate and to daunt. Where many of us will habitually blank out architectural environments which cannot be accommodated by the naked eye, Gursky's approach is to photograph them in order to render them comprehensible: "My preference for clear structures is the result of my desire, perhaps illusory, to keep track of things and maintain my grip on the world." Architecture is a collection of breathtaking images by the world-famous photographer, taken between 1988 and the present day, and treating all aspects of architectural structure, from the inside out. Each of the 75 color photographs is accompanied by commentary by renowned German authors Aleida Assmann, Jan Assmann, Elisabeth Bronfen, Sonja Fessel, Paul Nizon, Alfred Nordmann, Mirjam Schaub, Rudolf Schmitz, Monika Schmitz-Emans, Peter Schneemann and Thomas Zaunschirm. The resulting conjunction of text and image attractively demonstrates the depth and breadth of Gursky's concept of architecture.