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The Goslar Kaiserring 2008 Prize Goes to Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky with the 'Kaiserring 2008' prize in his hand, in Goslar (Germany), yesterday October 10. Gursky is the winner of the modern art prize this year. Photo: EFE / Holger Hollemann.

GOSLAR.- German artist Andreas Gursky was awarded the Kaiserring of the City of Goslar for the year 2008. The artist was born in 1955 in Leipzig and lives and works in Düsseldorf. He received the Kaiserring at a special meeting of the Goslar Counsel on 11th October.

With their choice of Andreas Gursky the jury is honouring an artist who has risen to world fame with his large-scale works. Part of the Jury’s decision states: “The pictures of a world (society) that Andreas Gursky has created in the last fifteen years present chaos and design, formlessness and form, fragmentariness and monumentality at the same time. They disrupt the narrow perspective of the individual viewer; in order to act as a mirror and a corrective to social reality they go beyond mere portrayal. Like an anamorphic or distorted picture, more enters one’s gaze than one is normally accustomed to see. These are fictions made from a substrate of facts. Overwhelmed by the magnetism of the photographs – which is enhanced by the extremely large formats, the perfection, the brilliance and partly also by their pathos when arranged in diptychs – familiar images rise up in the beholder’s mind ... Andreas Gursky’s way of working is not subtractive, as in analogue photography, in which the motif is set from the beginning, but additivel individual elements are pieced together during the digital postproduction to form a new image. The conceptual approach of his teachers, the Kaiserring recipients Bernd and Hilla Becher, has left an unmistakable mark on his work: the way he groups individual exposures into typologies and catalogues of forms that direct the viewer’s gaze to the structures is likewise based on the principle of the montage. But while the Bechers have clung firmly to documentary analogue photography, Gursky combines its binding qualities with the liberty of digital photography.“

Andreas Gursky, who began his artistic career with small-scale photographs showing the relationship between man and his environment, changed in 1988 to large-size works, and has come to be regarded as one of the leading contemporary photographers in the world. Since the end of the 1980s he has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions home and abroad. His works may be found in major national and international collections.

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