THOMAS STRUTH: Architectural Monuments + Landscapes

Waldstrasse auf dem Lindberg-Landscape No. 3, Winterthur 1992
Sold at 2000 Auction for $48,825.
Photograph (c) Thomas Struth /All Rights Reserved

Paradise 14, Yakushima, Japan 1999
Photograph (c) Thomas Struth
/All Rights Reserved

Mailänder Dom (Fassade) 1998. Sold at 2008 Auction for $565,000.
Photograph (c) Thomas Struth
/All Rights Reserved

Pergamon Museum II, Berlin 2001
Photograph (c) Thomas Struth
/All Rights Reserved

Monreale, Palermo 1998
Photograph (c) Thomas Struth
/All Rights Reserved

"Thomas Struth's Mailänder Dom (Fassade) above, executed in 1998, conveys a sense of the building's overwhelming dimensions through its own size. The building visually and physically dominates both the composition and the people in front of the massive cathedral. The sharp focus on the cathedral recalls the photographs of Struth's teacher, Bernd Becher. However, Struth's image, while appearing to share Bernd and Hilla Becher's concerns with objectivity, aims to capture something more subjective, more distinctive and more profound about the world in which we live.

Western religion places the cathedral, a dramatic and sacred building, on a pedestal. However, the tourists in front of this particular cathedral in Milan are not pilgrims but tourists. This forces the viewer to consider its relative obsolescence in our more secular age. Struth depicts the cathedral most as the center of human interaction, not merely the center of the Catholic Church. The visitors, for the most part, are surely not worshipers. The religious buildings and artefacts of yore have become the tourist sites of today. Struth does not merely document how places look. He does not merely reduce the fabric of our urban life to abstraction, as is the case in so many other "objective" photographs, although these factors are important to Mailänder Dom (Fassade) and its aesthetic. Instead, he attempts to grasp and convey some essence of our existence in the cosmopolitan playground of the modern world."–Christie's catalog 2008. Number nine of an edition of ten, 74½ x 92½ in. (189.2 x 235 cm.), sold at auction for $565,000.

Thomas Struth / Exhibition / June 11-September 12, 2010
Kunsthaus Zurich


John F. martin said...

Please explain to me how Struth can get $565000 at auction for a limited edition print of Mailander Dom facade? He's good but not that good. As an example,for architecture, IMHO, Richard Barnes is way better. And that artist statement, don't get me started! I do like Struths portraits.

Some good comments here:

Please don't get me wrong. I love your blog and appreciate your boldness in posting all kinds of photography.

Daniel Hale said...

No comment on the price. I say what the market will bear or is it bare? Enjoyed the architectural shots, esp that there is nothing else, ie sky or background.


Anci said...

I think that the first picture is great and have a feeling of hope :)


Don said...

I'm enjoying your blog. I'll be back to explore more.

Betty Manousos said...

Love these pictures!:)
Hope you have a great week-end!
and thanks for you lovely comments:)
Betty x

ALIX said...

Excelente Post.
Saludos desde Europa

Kevin Miller said...

Anyone ever read the old Time Mag article by Hughes about the similarities btwn venture capital, market manipulations, wall street and the art market (high end, esp contemporary)? Art buyer as venture capitalist, art buying as hedge fund activity...it's all pretty disgusting for living artists like Struth IMVHO...I'm with John (Martin)..Elizabeth, I know you are only the messenger.

Susan said...

Fab photos - reminds me of a recent trip to Rome, where I was totally overwhelmed by the architectural heritage. I'm very much a novice on the photography front, but hope the photos in my blog are starting to improve?