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Andreas Gursky Hardcover – July 2, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Gursky's retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art this spring (now showing in Chicago) was just the latest achievement by this German photographer, ranked among the half-dozen most important art photographers now working. Galassi, MOMA's chief photography curator, does an excellent job of tracing the artist's influences and development in his engaging essay. Moreover, the illustrations of work by his mentors, especially Bernd and Hilla Becher, as well as of his own early work, commercial work, and school projects, are highly informative. The 59 large-format plates (48 of them from the 1990s) forming the catalog that follows concentrate on his mature themes: massive and empty modern buildings, crowded public spaces filled with frenetic, impersonal activity, and landscapes that most often look at a built topology. The combination of his unique, painterly use of the camera and his ability to capture the beehive of contemporary society (whether the images are occupied or not) rightfully have earned him his current position. This best available overview is highly recommended for all libraries. Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Peter Galassi is Chief Curator of the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art, New York (July 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870700162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870700163
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 13.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #509,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J.P. on July 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First you must understand why this book was put together. Peter Galassi, the Museum of Modern Art in New York's Chief Curator in the Department of Photography made this book as a sort of large catalog to accompany the Gursky retrospective which was in May 2001. The Gursky's photos are huge, the exhibition at MOMA was huge and the book is - well, big, but other's will more than likely agree, it could be bigger especially in context to Gursky's work. (12" x 13.5")
Inside you'll find two things Gursky's photos and Peter Galassi's essay. More than likely you'll thumb through the book ogling the photos first, only to find the treasure of Peter's research about Gursky much later. Galassi's writes with authority and intellect as he discusses the "artistic contexts and origins of the work" in detail. In the preface Galassi admits that the introduction is lengthy but is only meant to encourage further study. Indeed, you are curious, you are pulled in. Here is a sample "Andreas Gursky's best pictures of the past decade knock your socks off, and they're meant to. They're big, bold, full of color, and full of surprise. As each delivers its punch, the viewer is already wondering where it came from - and will continue to enjoy the seduction of surprise long after scrutinizing the picture in detail." Galassi continues with bringing non-photo experts up to speed on the environment of the European aesthetic over the past 150 years, with much of the focus being on the 1950'6 - 60's. Fortunately attention has been paid also the Becher's, one of Andreas Gursky's mentors from the Kunstakademie (art academy), as well as the changes that had occurred in the practice of what was being taught there. Influential artists are named and noted and neatly woven into the grand picture.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill Hirst on August 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Again and again, devotees of Gursky's work find themselves struggling to describe the sheer physical impressiveness of his prints. Pristine, perfect and awe-inspiring as they are; they ... in the viewer, challenging one to see more, to make sense of this information overload.
Previous coffee-table monographs on Gursky failed pitifully to convey the experience of viewing his finest work: such as the retrospectives at the Tate Liverpool (UK) or this latest show at MOMA NY -from which this book arises.
This MOMA book succeeds where others have failed: thanks to its designer's skill in taking portions -sometimes very small portions- of Gursky's images and placing them in the book as visual puzzles. They challenge the reader to recognise what they are, from which images -and where they belong. They also serve as an implicit yard-stick. "my God" the reader realises, "if this double page spread is only that tiny part of the whole image, I can imagine just how big and detailed the whole picture must be".
So, if you've not seen Gursky's actual prints yet, then please do: there is no substitute. But -having seen them - this is the only book that will come anywhere near to reminding you of that delightful experience.
Bill Hirst
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "plastico37" on April 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Walking through my neighborhood bookstore, I casually glanced at the photo books as I walked by. I usually stop and take a closer look, but lately I haven't seen any quality large format photography books, so I had my doubts. The loud and snappy color stripe on the book, combined with the mass of people, and on top of that the name Andreas Gursky, I stopped dead in my tracks. I felt my heart flutter and my knees get weak. Finally! A nice large book with insane large format work, with beautiful reproductions, and great layout!! What else would I want in a book? Well, personally, I like books that make we want to attack the world with my 4 x 5, I want to come out charging like a boxer in the first round. Not only did this book make we want to go shoot again, but it also made me think about shape, texture, content, and design. Some people think photographers don't pay much attention to those things, but in this book, it is disturbing the detail that is presented in each photograph. There is a photograph of a Dutch soccer stadium, and the crispness of the image is stunning. You can almost see individual strands of grass, you can almost see the players sweating, in other words, it is amazing. But to sum it all up in a non big word type of way, dude, buy this book. If you like books that make you do work, get this book. I am serious, you won't be disappointed. Oh Yeah!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Grossman on April 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Every photograph in Andreas Gurskey's book is a revelation. It's not a page turner-you'll linger at length over each photograph's wealth of detail, painterly composition, and absurd landscape. The images in this book have an amazing ability to startle and provoke. They are at once humorous and full of despair, alienating and invigorating. Traveling all over the globe to capture these moments, Gurskey has created a discourse about utopiansism, mass culture, work, consumerism, nature, and modern design. While the reduced size of the photographs (in contrast to the MOMA exhibit) means they lose some of their power, the book is ordered in a way that puts the images in dialogue with each other. And it reads better than any novel I have read in recent memory.
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