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Thomas Struth

Guggenheim Bilbao displays Thomas Struth’s photography

Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, ‘Eleonor and Giles Robertson, Edinburgh 1987,’ inkjet print, 66 x 84 cm © Thomas Struth

BILBAO, Spain – The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is presenting the exhibition titled “Thomas Struth,” a complete journey through five decades of one of the most influential European postwar photographers, whose evolution as an artist has been marked by social concerns. Organized by Haus der Kunst, Munich, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the exhibition opens Oct. 2 and run through Jan. 19, 2020.

The images of Thomas Struth (b. 1954, Geldern, Germany) receive their signature character from the questions they raise about the relevance of public space, family ties, nature, culture, and the limits of new technologies. Thus, Struth addresses essential questions like the instability of social structures and the fragility of human existence through images whose formal elegance prompts the audience’s participation and empathy towards these topics.

This exhibition connects Struth’s initial concepts—seen in the archival material that the artist has collected over the years—to his well-defined groups of finished works, such as Unconscious Places, Family Portraits, Audience, Museum Photographs, New Pictures from Paradise, and This Place.

These, in turn, establish a dialogue with other works, such as Berlin Project (Berlin Projekt), a video conceived in 1997 in collaboration with media artist Klaus vom Bruch, with other more recent groups like Nature & Politics, Animals, and with the landscape and flower photographs created for the wards of Lindberg hospital.

The relationships among these works highlight Struth’s ability to combine analysis with photographic creation in multiple subjects and mediums, resulting in powerful photographic images.

In a meticulously composed presentation, the exhibition establishes a dialogue between groups of works in order to connect Struth’s initial ideas to his well-defined past and recent series: Unconscious Places, Portraits, Museum Photographs, New Pictures From Paradise, Places of Worship, Nature & Politics and Dandelion Room (Löwenzahnzimmer), a monograph of landscape and flowers for the patients of the Winterthur Hospital.

Never before exhibited early works and research materials from the photographer’s archive will help to understand these different stages in Struth’s work and the social concerns at the core of them.