Rüdiger Schöttle

Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky

29 Oct 2013 - 01 Feb 2014

Exhibition view
29 October 2013 – 1 February 2014

While the idea for such a project – based on mutual appreciation and respect – was conceived a great many years ago, it is not until now that these two exceptional exponents of contemporary photography have explicitly undertaken to show their works in a joint exhibition.

Andreas Gursky, born 1955, first attended the Folkwang-Schule in Essen, where the department of photography enjoys high renown, before taking the advice of his friend Thomas Struth at the beginning of the 1980s to apply for a place at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in the famous photography class of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Andreas Gursky's early works were mostly of small format and of a documentary or conceptual nature, the motifs being mainly landscapes, architecture and interiors. His first exhibition at the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery took place in 1986. Towards the end of the 1980s he began to work with large formats and to explore the possibilities of computer-assisted imaging. Some of his best known works are montages, though not recognizable as such at first glance, and are distinguished by seemingly ornamental structures and homogeneous surfaces when viewed at a distance, which then reveal more and more individual details upon closer scrutiny. This is one of the overwhelmingly fascinating aspects of the work of Andreas Gursky, who today counts among the most successful contemporary photographers. He lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Jeff Wall, born in 1946 in Vancouver, where he still lives, has been influencing contemporary photography since the early 1980s in way that can only be described as unique. His connections with the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery go back as far as 1981. His long-standing attachment to Munich is also reflected in the almost simultaneous exhibition of his works at the Pinakothek der Moderne from November 2013 until March 2014. While Jeff Wall, who began his artistic career with an MA in art history, is best known for his unmistakable, large-format, backlit transparencies, black-andwhite photographs and C-prints and ink jet prints also feature in his repertoire of techniques. In an extremely painstaking process, Jeff Wall stages his photographs like film sets, such that no detail is fortuitous despite first impressions. The influences on his work come from a diversity of sources as far apart as the painting and sculpture of bygone epochs and modern, everyday media, especially film and advertising. The seemingly real subject matter often appears to have been taken straight from everyday life or takes the form of drastic, action-packed scenes from a rougher milieu. This year's exhibition focuses on Jeff Wall's C-prints, which are devoted to the themes of music and youth in the broadest possible sense. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the largeformat work "Band & Crowd" from 2011. Andreas Gursky will likewise be showing, besides other works, a very large work of horizontal format – Untitled XVI – the background of which is dominated by the bright silver-metallic, sponge-like structure of an acoustic wall.

Tags: Bernd And Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall