b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany. Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany
In the early 1980s Andreas Gursky studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf . He initially followed their black-and-white documentary approach, later breaking with this style to develop large-scale, full-colour photographs of high-rise facades, industrial interiors, and urban landscapes. These vast views are taken from high, detached perspectives, enabling the viewer to take in an overall scene, or to get lost inside of it. In works such as Mayday II, 1998, and Chicago, Board of Trade II, 1999 digital manipulation is used to isolate, multiply and layer elements, increasingly a sense of overwhelming detail and a kind of contemporary sublime. These epic vistas have been interpreted as an allegory for the sensations of late capitalism and globalisation, with Gursky seen as responding to and recording his era in a manner to that that of traditional history painting.