- Andreas Gursky Leipzig, Germany, 1955
- Technique:Chromogenic print on paper
- Dimensions:Image: 250 x 159,5 cm
- Edition/serial number:6/6
- Category: Photography
- Entry date:2001
- Register number:AD02317
Critical opinion of Andreas Gursky’s photographs is that they are some of the best representations of global capitalism. They are large format images focusing on signs and emblematic spaces of contemporaneity: huge industrial plants, apartment buildings, luxury hotels, the offices of international banks and stock exchanges or warehouses filled with goods. His urban and architectural landscapes testify to a modern world transformed by industry and high-tech, international trade, the globalisation of information and population displacement.
In the 1980s, alongside Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and others, and under the tutelage of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gursky was a student at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, considered the epicentre of the post-war German avant-garde. Gursky brings a new image to the concept of the image-type, with a raised, richly chromatic and highly detailed viewpoint, evolving from spontaneous observation to the creation of a preconceived image, similar to the Bechers’ work but with the added support of digital manipulation.
Shanghai, which was assembled from four negatives, is a panoramic composition of the monumental atrium of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in that city. This highly detailed and pin-sharp architectural view follows the same pattern that runs through the artist’s work in the 1990s. The inability to place oneself within the space and the loss of physical references seem to connect to a contemporary “sublime”, as defined by Fredric Jameson on the basis of the unimaginable accumulation of global capital.