‘Andreas Gursky: Ocean I-VI’, Berlin

The Sprüth Magers gallery in Berlin is currently showing a new series of work by Andreas Gursky, inspired by the blue void of ocean displayed on an in-flight monitor during a flight from Dubai to Melbourne.

The Ocean I-VI series is on show from 1 May until 19 June  and features six new large-scale works by the German artist. The work apparently originates from Gursky being struck by the pictorial quality of the back-of-seat display as it showed the wide expanse of water that he was flying 35,000ft above (with the Horn of Africa to the far left of the screen, a tip of Australia to the right).

A text on the Sprüth Magers website explains the processes involved of creating the resulting series of images. “Gursky used high-definition satellite photographs which he augmented from various picture sources on the Internet,” say the gallery. “The satellite photos are restricted however to exposures of sharply contoured land masses. Consequently the transitional zones between land and water – as well as the oceans themselves – had to be generated completely by artificial means.

“Given that they make up by far the largest part of the works, this resulted in a gigantic project that only compares with the efforts Gursky lavished on the series F1 Boxenstopp (2007). That all these pieces nevertheless convey the feeling of real subaquatic depths is due solely to the precision of Gursky’s visual work. He even consulted shoal maps to get the right colour nuances for the water surfaces.”


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