Klausen Pass by Andreas Gursky

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 15:37

During the 1980s, while studying at the Düsseldorf Art Academy under Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gursky made a series of photographs of people engaged in leisure activities in and around Düsseldorf. Many of these early works explore the relationship of human beings to their environment, and the way that the landscape has been altered or controlled by its human inhabitants.

The figures in these early works often appear at odds with their environment, dwarfed by the structures – natural or man-made – that they find themselves beside. 

This is the case in Klausen Pass (1984), an image that the artist took at the request of a friend during a journey through the Swiss Alps. The figures in this image are arranged in what Gursky describes as a ‘perfect constellation’ across a hillside – a fact that the artist only noticed when he enlarged the negative, long after the photograph was taken. With Klausen Pass, Gursky discovered how he could use a distanced perspective to explore the relationship between human beings and their environment.

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