Thomas Struth: Museum Photographs
From Generation to Generation: Important Photographs from the Ames Collection
Diasec-mounted, framed, the photographer's label, signed in pencil and with typed title, date, and edition number, on the reverse, no. 5 in an edition of 10.
From the Catalogue:
In 1993, when he took the present portrait of Gerhard Richter, Thomas Struth was already well recognized for his contributions to contemporary photography through series such as Family Portraits and Museum Photographs. The two met at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf where Struth was a student of Richter’s in the 1970s. Richter encouraged Struth to leave painting and instead study photography under Bernd and Hilla Becher. The Bechers would greatly influence Struth’s work, not only by their formal approach to composition but also through their unconventional lessons. Rather than restricting study to solely photography, they encouraged their students to discuss politics, literature, film and journalism, thus emphasizing the inevitable cross-pollination between these modes of expression.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's
Thomas Struth, Still (Munich, 1998), p. 93
Thomas Weski, Norman Bryson, and Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Thomas Struth: Portraits (Munich, 2001), p. 49
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, 1998
Thomas Struth takes mesmerizing photographs that express his belief in photography as “a tool of scientific origin for psychological exploration.” He began taking pictures in 1976, influenced by his studies with three of the most important contemporary German artists of the time—painter and mixed media artist Gerhard Richter and photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. After his early black-and-white series of deadpan views of cityscapes eerily devoid of any signs of urban life, in 1989, Struth began work on his best-known cycle, the “Museum Photographs.” In these large-format, color-saturated photographs, Struth captures individuals and crowds looking at famous works of Western art in the world’s most popular museums. While looking at the “Museum Photographs,” viewers are confronted with the act of looking itself and the social complexities of seeing and being seen.
German, b. 1954, Geldern, Germany, based in Düsseldorf, Germany