Gagosian is pleased to present photographs by Andreas Gursky, on view for the first time in Italy. Featuring works from the Bangkok series (2011), as well as the monumental Ocean VI (2010), the exhibition coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Rome gallery.
In spring of 2011, Gursky visited Bangkok and observed the Chao Phraya that flows through the city and empties into the Gulf of Thailand. In the Bangkok photographs, he depicts the flickering surface of the fast-flowing river at close range. The luminous ripples, captured in an expansive vertical format, echo the chromatic effects of Impressionism, or the bold compositions of the American postwar modernists. The river mutates endlessly, revealing a mercurial, iridescent pattern; a symmetrical, Rorschach-like image; or, as in Bangkok VI, a bright swath of turquoise, reflected from the plastic netting of construction scaffolding. This formal beauty, however, gives way to a toxic, scientific reality. Like urban waterways worldwide, Rome’s own Tiber included, the Chao Phraya is revealed by Gursky to be at once a dumping ground for all manner of manmade detritus (used condoms, mattresses, car tires); a crucible for natural disorder (dead fish and the pretty but devastating weed known as water hyacinth); and a reflecting, refracting mirror of the modern city in a constant state of flux.
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Via Francesco Crispi 16 00187 Rome, Italy
December 14, 2017 to March 03, 2018