Best known for his masterfully complex, monumental city and scenic photographs examining industry, economics and culture, Gursky’s forty-year retrospective provided a few surprises. I found myself drawn to images that subvert the normative subject such as Untitled (1993)–a patch of grey carpet enlarged to resemble a grayscale landscape of nothingness, an aerial view of the Antarctic simulating a swirling mound of cocaine and a subterfuge of a highly-constructed blurred image seemingly shot from a moving vehicle in Utah. The underlying subversive humor refutes the stark precision and careful composites of Gursky’s more recent images such as Pyongyang VII of North Korean gymnasts.
~ Colette Copeland
images courtesy of Hayward Gallery and the Author