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Landscape Photography By Andreas Gursky Across Two Galleries

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 31 months ago
Landscape Photography By Andreas Gursky Across Two Galleries
Niagara, 1989
Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS 2014
Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Niagara, 1989 Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS 2014 Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky 
Alba, 1989 
Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS 2014
Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky Alba, 1989 Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS 2014 Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky
Lager, 2014
© Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014
Courtesy White Cube London
Andreas Gursky Lager, 2014 © Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014 Courtesy White Cube London
Andreas Gursky
Ofenpass, 1994
Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014
Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky Ofenpass, 1994 Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014 Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky
Schiphol, 1994
Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014
Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky Schiphol, 1994 Copyright: Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014 Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Andreas Gursky
Tote Hosen II, 2014
© Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014
Courtesy White Cube Gallery London
Andreas Gursky Tote Hosen II, 2014 © Andreas Gursky / DACS, 2014 Courtesy White Cube Gallery London

Andreas Gursky is a photographer, known for both traditional and manipulated landscapes — most famously Rhein II, which in 2011 became the most expensive photograph ever sold for a price of £2.7m. He now has two shows across London featuring his earlier works at Sprüth Magers and a wide portfolio of work including his latest creations at the massive White Cube space in Bermondsey.

There are only a handful of works at Sprüth Magers but some are spectacular, including a vision of the Niagara Falls. A boatload of tourists are wearing matching black raincoats so they resemble hooded Angels of Death as they head towards the crashing water of the falls.

Fishermen on a calm river are all seen in motion as they rush about with activity while the natural world around them feels relaxed and unperturbed, and a snowy mountain dotted with black trees is so starkly monochrome, it could pass as an abstract work.

The exhibition at White Cube contains many more works including some traditional landscapes such as aerial views of the Antarctic but also some abstract photographs of reflections upon inky water. Gursky's strength in his later works lies in creating images you wish were true, an example of this is a grand scale cathedral that dwarfs the individuals in frame.

His recent works are surprising in how much they've moved away from his previous styles — they feature superheroes such as Batman on a beach or a manufactured museum featuring many of art's most famous works. These works are remarkably kitschy and, for us, mar the rest of the exhibition.

The works at Sprüth Magers are excellent, as are some at White Cube. It's hard to forget his latest works, though, which are so comparatively poor, they left us wishing they'd been created by another artist. But go judge for yourself.

Andreas Gursky: Early Landscapes is on at Sprüth Magers, 7a Grafton Street, W1S 4EJ until 21 June. Entrance is free.

Andreas Gursky is on at White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ until 6 July. Entrance is free.

For more art to see in London, check out our May listings.

Last Updated 07 May 2014

Jon Sparks

I see better photography than this every hour of every day

Rod Taylor

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