Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
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Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… 显示更多 ART FOR FUTURE – SELECTED WORKS FROM THE UNICREDIT GROUP
Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)

May Day III

Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
May Day III
signed, titled, numbered and dated 'may day III ’98 2/6 A. Gursky' (on the reverse)
chromogenic print face mounted to acrylic, in artist’s frame
image: 58 1/8 x 72 ½in.(147.7 x 184cm.)
overall: 74 ½ x 89in. (189.2 x 226.2cm.)
Executed in 1998, this work is number two from edition of six
Galerie Monika Sprüth, Cologne.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1998.
R. Beil, Andreas Gursky Architecture, Darmstadt, exh. cat., 2008, no. 4, p. 70 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 71).
Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Andreas Gursky - Photographs from 1984 to the Present, 1998, p. 19 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 109).
Bonn, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Great Illusions: Demand, Gursky, Ruscha, 1999 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated, p. 44); this exhibition later travelled to Miami, Miami Museum of Contemporary Art.
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Andreas Gursky, 2001, no. 40, p. 185 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, pp. 138-139).
Vienna, Bank Austria Kunstforum, PastPresentFuture. Werke aus der Sammlung der Unicredit Group, 2009-2010, p. 143 (illustrated in colour, p. 65).
Krefeld, Kunstmuseum Krefeld, Andreas Gursky: Werke 80-08 = Andreas Gursky, 2011, p. 253 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 162); this exhibition later travelled to Stockholm, Moderna Museet and Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery.
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium


In smoky amber, Andreas Gursky’s towering photograph May Day III, 1998, thrums with a joyous explosion of colour and energy. Capturing the swell and rhythm in monumental scale, the work is from an edition of six, examples of which have been exhibited at institutions worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and Kunstmuseum Bonn. Amid plumes of smoke, a crowd of concertgoers surges towards the infinite blackness. Perhaps more than any other work from the 1990s, Gursky's series of rave images have come to symbolize the abundant, expansive moment, when technology and globalisation appeared to unify the world. Germany’s subversive rave scene, which emerged at the beginning of the decade, embodied an anti-establishment ethos in the wake of the economic recession. Executed with striking clarity, the intricate details of the epic panorama induce a sublime effect as the revellers here seem impervious to the capitalist system crumbling around them.
A split-second forever frozen in time, May Day III fluctuates between the intoxicating details of outstretched arms and bowed heads and the morass of undulating shapes and colours. Turning a characteristically dispassionate lens onto the crowd, the photograph evinces Gursky’s unique vision, which renders the world’s minute details abstract. While the surfaces of his photographs are supersaturated with information, the overall effect is somewhat opaque as any individual narrative is refused owing to the artist’s vantage point. ‘I stand at a distance,’ he remarked, ‘like a person who comes from another world. I just record what I see’ (A. Gursky interviewed by C. Squiers, ‘Concrete Reality’, Ruhr Works, September 1988, p. 29). The thousand assembled bodies in May Day III lose their stories and physical traits; although the image lacks a central focal point, through Gursky’s camera the figures coalesce into a single, united force.
While enrolled at the Künstakademie in Düsseldorf, Gursky was taught by the celebrated German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose series of deadpan and seemingly objective images documented structural archetypes around the world. Initially, Gursky too embraced a documentary aesthetic but faced with what he considered to be the irresolvable failings of the medium, he began to incorporate digital manipulations into his images. By enhancing both colour and pixilation, Gursky invites a close examination of each figure, regardless of his or her distance, which ultimately enables multiple narratives to develop within the crystalline scene, as showcased in his celebrated 2018 retrospective at London’s Hayward Gallery. The resulting photographs shift between artificiality and veracity, presenting a heightened view of the world that seems more authentic than what may actually exist. While seemingly discordant, May Day III depicts an underlying regularity that refines and condenses the chaos of the human experience. In doing so, Gursky’s ravers transcend reality.

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