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Thomas Struth

Titian and the Renaissance in Venice (group show)
Städel Museum, Frankfurt
13 February – 26 May 2019

Thomas Struth, Galleria dell’Accademia 1, Venedig 1992, 1992 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Galleria dell’Accademia 1, Venedig 1992, 1992 © Thomas Struth

In the spring of 2019, the Städel Museum will devote itself to one of the most momentous chapters in the history of European art: Venetian Renaissance painting. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the artists of the lagoon city – first and foremost the young Titian (ca. 1488/90–1576) – developed an independent strain of the Renaissance relying on purely painterly means and the impact of light and colour. This new approach caused a sensation in Venice, and its exponents were soon spreading the innovations outside the city republic as well. In the 1540s, yet another highly talented young generation – now embodied by Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese – came on the scene to vie for commissions in Venice.

In its various sections the exhibition introduces selected characteristic aspects of Venetian painting from the sixteenth century – for example the atmospherically charged landscape depictions that heralded landscape painting as a genre in its own right, the ideal likenesses of beautiful women (“Belle Donne”), or the importance of colour for the art of the Venetians. With more than a hundred masterworks from international collections, the show is the first in Germany to present a first-rate, thematically structured panorama of Venetian Renaissance painting.

The large-scale exhibition features more than twenty examples by Titian alone – the figure who held the key position in the Venetian art scene all his life – and thus the most extensive selection of his works ever before on display in Germany. It also presents works by Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435–1516), Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (1479/80–1528), Sebastiano del Piombo (ca. 1485–1547), Lorenzo Lotto (ca. 1480–1556/57), Jacopo Tintoretto (ca. 1518/19–1594) and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588). The exhibition offers comprehensive insights into the artistic and thematic spectrum of the Renaissance in Venice and elucidates why so many widely differing artists of later centuries looked back to works of this period again and again for orientation.

Städel Museum, Frankfurt


Additional:

Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth (solo show)
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
4 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

Thomas Struth, Kyoko and Tomoharu Murakami, Tokyo 1991 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Kyoko and Tomoharu Murakami, Tokyo 1991 © Thomas Struth

A comprehensive journey through more than four decades of work by the acclaimed German photographer Thomas Struth (b. 1954), this exhibition will offer examples of the different stages of his work and the social concerns that have driven the evolution of his influential art. With more than 130 works, the exhibition, first seen at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, is the most extensive showing of his artistic career to date and contains early works that have never been exhibited before. Research materials from his archive will also help to present the ideas he has been working on for the past years

This meticulously composed presentation connects Struth’s initial ideas to his well-defined groups of works, such as Unconscious Places, Portraits, Museum Photographs, New Pictures From Paradise and Places of Worship. Thus establishing a dialogue with other works such as Berlin-Project, a video work conceived in 1998 together with media artist Klaus vom Bruch, or with the most recent photo series Nature & Politics as well as with the landscape and flower photographs created for the wards of Winterthur Hospital, later compiled in the monograph Dandelion Room (Löwenzahnzimmer). These relations between works highlight Struth’s ability to combine analysis with photographic creation in the multiple subjects and techniques that he applies to produce astonishing and powerful photographic images.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao


Thomas Struth

Composition 19. Thomas Struth at the Hilti Art Foundation (solo and curated show)
Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz
12 April - 6 October 2019

Thomas Struth, Paradise 30, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005, 2005 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Paradise 30, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005, 2005 © Thomas Struth

From 12 April until 6 October 2019, the Hilti Art Foundation is presenting works of the German artist Thomas Struth (* 1954) from its collection that focus on civilisation and nature, technology and culture.

In this self-curated show, Struth combines his works with paintings and sculptures from the Hilti Art Foundation collection, thus placing them for the first time in his international exhibiting career in an iconographic and aesthetic context with artworks from the 19th and 20th century.

Thomas Struth, who studied under Gerhard Richter and Bernd Becher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1973 to 1980, has combined his photographs primarily into groups of works with such titles as Unbewusste Orte (Unconscious Places), Museum Photographs, Kultstätten (Cult Sites) or New Pictures from Paradise. On a global scale, he has trained his eye on streets, squares and buildings in various cities in different countries, on religious buildings and museums, including their visitors, or on the thicket of indigenous and non-European vegetation. Since around 2007 he has been increasingly interested in the complexity of industry, technology and research.

The photographs in the exhibition also concentrate on these aspects. Spread across all three floors of the building, the presentation of works is divided into the themes of People, Technology, Urbanity, Nature and Cult Spaces. The paintings and sculptures that Struth selected from the collection accompany the photographs as equals, revealing analogies in terms of both content and form. At the same time, they intensify the dialogue and the contrast between genres and epochs, for example when photographs of the Prado Museum in Madrid with baroque paintings and photographs of the Siemens Schaltwerk in Berlin with high-tech machinery are juxtaposed with the classical human figure of Wilhelm Lehmbruck. In the same sense, Struth also combines his photographs with works of Picasso, Klee, Léger, Mondrian, Giacometti, Wols, Klapheck or Richter.

Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz


Bridget Riley, Thomas Struth et al.

The Lie of the Land (group show)
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
16 March - 26 May 2019

Through a playful and provocative display The Lie of the Land charts how British landscape was radically transformed by changes in free time and leisure activities since hunting and shooting, the recreations of the aristocracy, were enjoyed on the rolling hills of their private estates. In part, tracing a line between Capability Brown’s aristocratic gardens at Stowe and the social, urban experiment at neighbouring Milton Keynes, the exhibition teases out the aspirations that underpin our built environments.

The Lie of the Land examines the modernisation of leisure propelled by industrialisation, a theme developed from Canaletto’s painting of the fashionable public entertainment venue, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Victorian era, with its social reforms aiming to improve urban living conditions, is represented by the Parks Movement. Alongside works by early science fiction writer Jane Loudon and the founder of the Garden City Movement Ebenezer Howard, the exhibition also includes the first-ever lawnmower, John Ruskin’s rock collection and influential horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll’s gardening boots.

From the late-18th century, large-scale public spectacles became hugely popular as a result of technical advances. Hot air ballooning, horse racing and concerts heralded the commodification of leisure. By contrast, grassroots-initiated activity such as raves, carnivals and urban sports are traced in the work of, for example, Jeremy Deller and Errol Lloyd and use of public spaces for protest are explored, including the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp occupation. 
 
As the 20th century progressed, in Milton Keynes, chief architect Derek Walker proposed a city greener than the surrounding countryside where cars, electronic communication and nature reinvented the idea of the town-country for the 1970s. Radical urban theory was to be combined with the LA lifestyle and the thrill of pop culture – also reflected in the art of Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi.

The Lie of the Land highlights campaigns to democratise space, from the 17th century egalitarian Levellers to the 1930s Ramblers. We look at how people use public space, and the communities that have been excluded through structures of race, gender, disability and class, explored in works by artists including Jo Spence, Rose Finn-Kelcey and Ingrid Pollard.

Overall, the exhibition aims to capture a visionary spirit of grand designs tempered by the realities of political expediency. Public resources are under increasing pressure and ‘placemaking’ and ‘regeneration’ remain central to urban development. The Lie of the Land looks reflexively at the role of culture in this process, drawing inspiration and seeking lessons from the past.

MK Gallery, Milton Keynes


Thomas Struth

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits (group show)
Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
16 March - 14 July 2019

Thomas Struth, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011, 2011 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011, 2011 © Thomas Struth

Tudors to Windsors traces the history of the British monarchy through the outstanding collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.  This exhibition highlights major events in British (and world) history from the sixteenth century to the present, examining the ways in which royal portraits were impacted by both the personalities of individual monarchs and wider historical change. Presenting some of the most significant royal portraits, the exhibition will explore five royal dynasties: the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Georgians, the Victorians and the Windsors shedding light on key figures and important historical moments. This exhibition also offers insight into the development of British art including works by the most important artists to have worked in Britain, from Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz.

Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo


Vera Lutter, Thomas Struth et al.

Civilization: The Way We Live Now (group show)
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
9 March - 19 May 2019

Thomas Struth, Pergamon Museum 1, Berlin 2001, 2001 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Pergamon Museum 1, Berlin 2001, 2001 © Thomas Struth

Civilization: The Way We Live Now presents nearly 300 works by more than 130 of the world’s most renowned photographic artists, offering a complex and sprawling vision of contemporary life. The images gathered here, produced in the past 25 years, speak to the changes brought about by globalization, and draw attention both to the increasing amount of complexity and conflict, and to the unprecedented degree of interdependence, that characterize life today. They attest, as well, to the development of the medium of photography, and its ability to document these sweeping changes. Organized in collaboration between UCCA and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, the Beijing presentation of Civilization is curated by William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell.

In his 2011 book, Civilization, the historian Niall Ferguson notes: “These days most people around the world dress in much the same way: the same jeans, the same sneakers, the same T-shirts… It is one of the greatest paradoxes of modern history that a system designed to offer infinite choice to the individual has ended up homogenizing humanity.” This paradox lies at the core of “Civilization,” which strives to explain the “complex whole” that is modern society, in all its spiritual and material richness. The photographers in this exhibition depict, reveal, examine, criticize and otherwise reflect our hyper-modern and complex social terrain, from Edward Burtynsky’smassively transformed landscapesto Lauren Greenfield’s revealing urban portraits,from Toshio Shibata’s highly ordered tableaus to Xing Danwen’s electronic pollution.

The exhibition is divided into eight sections. “Hive” explores the systems of cohabitation and collaboration that have developed in urban settings. “Alone Together” documents the solidarities and estrangements found within communities, as well as the effect of the internet on sociality. “Flow” testifies to the accelerated production and widening wealth gap in the post-industrial world. “Persuasion” explores the power of symbolic capital, from marketing strategies to consumption habits, from religious beliefs to personality cults. “Control” examines humanity’s ability to create order, resolve disputes, and organize political and social structures. “Rupture” focuses on the breakdown of this order, and the conflicts between individuals and collectives. “Escape” follows the ascent of recreational culture, where relaxation, entertainment, adventure, and thrill-seeking offer freedom from the given. Finally, “Next” presents visions of the future, questioning teleological narratives of development.

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing


Thomas Struth

Nature & Politics (solo show)
MAST Foundation, Bologna
2 February - 22 April 2019

Thomas Struth, Nature & Politics, installation view, MAST Foundation, Bologna, 2019. © Fondazione MAST
Thomas Struth, Nature & Politics, installation view, MAST Foundation, Bologna, 2019. © Fondazione MAST

The MAST Foundation presents a selection of large colour photographs taken by Thomas Struth from 2007 on at industrial sites and scientific research centres throughout the world that represent cutting-edge technological experimentation and innovation.

One of the best known artist on the international scene, Struth takes us in realms and forbidden zones to which we do not normally have access, giving us a glimpse into the unexplored world behind technological innovation in 25 large-format works on display at the MAST PhotoGallery. Space research labs, nuclear power plants, operating rooms, and drilling platforms are photographed with painstaking precision, detached curiosity, and a remarkable visual sensibility.

The artist focuses on machines as tools transforming contemporary society and shows us scientific, highly technological experiments, developments, research, calibrations and interventions that will at some point, directly or not, intrude into our lives and have an impact. In these images we perceive all the complexity, importance, and force of the processes, but we can also sense the power and the politics of knowledge, and the business they conceal.

MAST Foundation, Bologna


Günther Förg, Thomas Struth et al.

Light Sensitive 2: Photography from the Schaufler Collection (group show)
SCHAUWERK, Sindelfingen
15 April 2018 - 6 January 2020

Thomas Struth, Grosse Tannen Am Eschberg - N°13, Winterthur 1992, 1992 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, Grosse Tannen Am Eschberg - N°13, Winterthur 1992, 1992 © Thomas Struth

Contemporary photography from the Schaufler Collection will be on display from September 2017 at the SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen. The museum will link this show to the LICHTEMPFINDLICH exhibition of 2011, which had presented the large collection of this medium to the public for the first time in the impressive space of the former high rack warehouse in the SCHAUWERK. This lofty storage space inspires with its revolving ramp, which extends over 15 metres upward: an exhibition place par excellence for photography, with spectacular visual axes for viewing from near and afar.

Along with major works from the first exhibition, LICHTEMPFINDLICH 2 will also display photographs that previously haven’t been shown, so that a more comprehensive representation of the contemporary photography collection can occur. The main interest of the collectors Peter Schaufler and Christiane Schaufler-Münch is not directed toward the medium and its history per se, but leans more toward the fascination that arises from certain motifs, pictorial inventions, and their formal transformations.

The classic genres of photography—nude, portrait, landscape, architecture, or industry—are mirrored in the works, but are often citations or stages of conceptual processes. Most of the protagonists within the context of this collection have left behind the conventional framework of photography.

SCHAUWERK, Sindelfingen