Andreas Gursky. Hayward Gallery, London, March 2018.
This is the first exhibition to take place at the Southbank Centre’s recently reopened Hayward Gallery. I had been aware of Gursky’s large scale photographs such as those of stock exchanges and warehouses, less so of his earlier more natural landscape work; I was interested to view both. Equally I was keen to revisit the concrete splendour of the Hayward Gallery after its two year refurbishment, and to see the pyramid roof finally revealed!
In some of his more modern scenes Gursky uses an interesting technique of stitching many images together, so there is no vanishing point; in essence flattening the scene. I found these strange to look at – as though my eyes were trying to find a natural way through the picture. Ultimately everything is given equal prominence which I believe is intentional.
I found the plain-ness of the scenes almost jarring (no obvious focal point, distractions left in, and so on), but I think this is the artist showing us something about the world we live in and letting us make up our own minds about it rather than preaching what should or shouldn’t be done.
The scale of many of the pieces is, as you may expect, staggering. I found myself moving in closer to examine a detail and then moving back again to try and take in the scene.
I really enjoyed this exhibition and my visit to the Hayward Gallery. It’s on until 22nd April 2018 if you’re interested in going along!