Thomas Struth

b. 1954, Geldem, Germany. Lives and Works in Düsseldorf, Germany


Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Times Square, New York, 2000


Thomas Struth's large scale photographs can be understood in relation to the genre of history painting – where the subject matter is a moment in history rather than a static subject. Struth's photography reflects moral lessons for humanity via the representation of landscapes and humans activity within them. Often turning his lens on the sites of human interaction with culture or nature his imposing images freeze the minute actions of life for perpetuity. Works such as Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013 can be understood in relation to his Places of Worship series which is made up of images of museums, churches, national parks and metropolitan city centres such as Times Square (Times Square, New York, 2000): places of contemporary revelation and sites where humans come to get outside themselves and understand their place in the universe. A recent survey referenced by artnet found that " found that audiences were willing to pay twice as much for aquariums as for art museums". More recently Struth has captured extensive images of the Kennedy Space Centre and Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma physics; these scientific laboratories empty of human presence are the site of knowledge development. Their physical actualisation being an intense combination of man's attempt via technology to understand the universe, these images present a delicate balance between beauty and chaos.