German artist Andreas Gursky is best known for his large-scale photographs that inhabit a space between painting and photography, landscape and human concern, animate and inanimate subjects. He often places his large-format camera at a high-angled distance from his subject, creating images that suggest mapping stills from outer space or cyber-technology. Sometimes computer-manipulated, his images of corporate architecture, geological features, and crowds of people frozen in motion often reference the geometric forms of Minimalist Art and the “all-over” quality of a Jackson Pollock painting.
Klitschko presents a scene at a sporting event: the athletes and their handlers, the hungry crowd, and the sportscasters encased in a glass booth above the fray. Here, Gursky blends relationships between spectacle, culture, and technology as he captures motion and creates a moment of stillness in the space. This dense, slightly abstracted image evokes film stills, apocalyptic imaginings, mass demonstrations, and other associations from our collective consciousness. This moment at a sporting event and its particular culture presents a decidedly contemporary view of mass culture and its frenzied activity. Through highly dramatic means, Gursky at once documents and remaps this scene of struggle, confusion, promise, and elation.
Gursky was recently included in the Walker-organized exhibition Let’s Entertain. This conceptual photograph joins several others recently acquired by the Walker, including those by artists such as Thomas Demand, Sharon Lockhart, and Jeff Wall.