130 × 100 cm (framed)
Inv. No. 0017
In Gurky’s monumental pictures of everyday occurrences, a certain neutrality of gaze is noticeable. Attention distributes itself evenly over the whole picture area; the large format camera registers the smallest detail and the photos, with their fine gradations of colour, are rich in information. At the same time, they seem to be “empty” in an almost meditative way. Jean-Pierre Criqui called it an “undefinable mixture of metaphysics and irony”. A feeling of distance and overview comes into being, but the normal hierarchy between a pictorial centre and the periphery is lacking. Gursky does without the traditional construction schema of foreground/background and “orchestrates the middle ground” (Collier Schorr).
The picture Maloja is a good example of the quiet tension which is inherent in its motif. The opposition between the unspectacular section of landscape and a very precise, almost momentous, picture choreography, is irritating. The group of people at the centre of the picture form a circle – but what do we really find out? Are we dealing with the members of a class in herbal lore, an ecology action group, a therapy session? Actually, we only learn that in remote places, the familiar structures of civilisation still hold sway. No matter how unshakeable the picture appears to be in its centred concision, we still feel that the world to the left and right of the picture continues quite normally, and that the strangers who are visiting in nature will soon return again to their urban homes.
Wolfgang Kos, 2005 (translation: Tim Sharp)Continue reading
Visions of Nature, Kunst Haus Wien, Vienna, 2017
Mythos Berg, RLB Kunstbrücke, Innsbruck, 2011
Nach Rokytník. The collection of EVN, MUMOK, Vienna, 2005
Verkehr - Steirische Landesausstellung, Knittelfeld, Steirische Landesregierung, Graz, 1999
Alpenblick – Die zeitgenössische Kunst und das Alpine, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 1997
Visions of Nature [published on the occasion of the exhibition “Visions of Nature”, Kunst Haus Wien, September 13, 2017 – February 18, 2018, Vienna 2017, p. 38 f
Mythos Berg [RLB Kunstbrücke, 15 November 2011 – 5 January 2012, Innsbruck 2011], Innsbruck 2011, p. 30 f
Andreas Gursky, Photographs 1984 – 1993 [published on the occasion of the exhibition “Andreas Gursky - Photographs”, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, 4 February – 10 April 1994, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, 20 May – 4 July 1994], Munich 1994, p. 31