PRINT January 2001

Alex Alberro

If there is a group of contemporary artists that has made it a point to reconstitute highly skilled photography in the context of the advanced visual arts, it’s the generation that studied at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie under Bernd and Hilla Becher—Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, Petra Wunderlich, Axel Hütte. Although each photographer is remarkable in his or her own way, they are unified by an easily recognizable style that privileges meticulously composed scenes produced with the highest possible definition and tonal differentiation. One of the most precocious of this group is Andreas Gursky, whose initial work of the early ’80s—modestly scaled, infallibly exposed, sharply focused images seen from a central perspectival position located somewhere above the scene—seemed to proceed in step with the Becher legacy. Gursky’s panoramic views of quotidian subject

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