15 January - 28 February 2003
We are pleased to announce the exhibition of Thomas Struth with the five new photographs from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, taken between 1996 and 2001. It is the first series of Museum Photographs dedicated entirely to a single museum with architectural and sculptural works from classical antiquity, including the famous Pergamon altar and the market gate of Milet. The visitors, bathed in thepale light of the enormous exhibtion halls of the museum, are engrossed in observing statues and reliefs, temple facades and monumental columns.
Thomas Struth is one of the major exponents of photography at the turn of the Millenium. A retrospective exhibition of his work is currently on a tour of American Museums and will be on show at the Metropolitan Museum in New York starting on the 4th of February.
Thomas Struth was born in Geldern near Cologne in 1954. From 1973 to 1980 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf as a student first of Gerhard Richter and then of Bernd and Hilla Becher. From the late 70s he started to photograph the urban landscape in black and white. With precision and sobriety, he catches the history and values of the inhabitants through the architecture of their cities, creating a faithful mirror of the collective unconscious.
In the 90s, Struth extended his research to other themes: urban and natural landscapes, museum interiors, church facades and portraits. The most celebrated series is that of the Museum Photographs (begun in 1989): large scale images of museum interiors, showing figurative paintings and corresponding compositions of museum visitors. In these works Struth juxtaposes real people with painted figures, creating a historical confrontation between different cultural and artistic settings through the times; he reveals the relationship between painting and photography inside the same image. In the photographs of Churches, people are shown in and around religious architecture in an intermediate stage of alienation with the original rituals, for which they were created, yet unavoidably confronted with their own culture and history.
Ever since the late 80s, the works of Thomas Struth have been exhibited in important public and private spaces. European, American and Japanese museums have acquired his works. Among the more important exhibitions, we recall those at the Berne Kunsthalle and the Yamaguchi museum in 1987; the Frankfurt Portikus in 1998; the Chicago Renaisance Society in 1990; the Washington Hirschhron Museum in 1992; the Hamburg Kunsthalle in 1993, the ICAs of Boston and London in 1994; the Toronto Art Gallery of Ontario and the Bonn Kunstmuseum in 1995; the Beijing International Art Palace in 1997; the Nîmes Carré d'Art and the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum in 1998; the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art in 2000; the Dallas Museum and the Los Angeles Moca in 2002 and the Metropolitan Museum of New York in 2003.