Andreas Gursky

Sprüth Magers | Berlin

Since the late 1980s, Andreas Gursky has been getting further and further away from his subjects. The evolution of digital manipulation techniques has enabled the Düsseldorf-based artist to occupy an increasingly remote vantage point from which he casts a privileged gaze on the exclusive sanctuaries of a globalized lifestyle industry and other sites off-limits to the public: a Formula 1 racetrack in Bahrain; man-made archipelagoes off the coast of Dubai; North Korean propaganda spectacles. In this respect, his large-format tableaux pursue an aesthetic strategy of spectacular superficiality in which photography appears to eschew its own traditionally mimetic tendencies toward realism in favor of ornamental flourishes, a development whose overall effect is to collapse the distinction between abstraction and figuration. This emphasis on surface value makes the avant-garde opposition of a

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