Galerie Max Hetzler presents an exhibition with new work by Thomas Struth at the gallery spaces in Bleibtreustraße 45 and Bleibtreustraße 15/16 in Berlin.
Revolving around universal questions of our time with a focus on Science, Nature and Portraiture, three major themes from Thomas Struth’s current bodies of work are shown across the two gallery locations in Bleibtreustraße.
The first-floor space in Bleibtreustraße 45 is dedicated to photographs taken at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The world’s largest scientifc facility near Geneva carries out research into the origins of the universe with the help of particle accelerators. Struth’s interest at CERN lies in the philosophical questions, the political dimensions and the pictorial possibilities offered by advanced technology. Do these highly complex conglomerates of cables and valves bear the hope for a better future? The CERN cluster displayed here forms part of Struth’s Nature and Politics, a body of work which he has developed since 2007, examining how ambition and human imagination become sculptural, spatial realities.
Surrounded by the images of technology, the viewer comes across works which deal with nature. A central room is dedicated to a winter landscape entitled Schlichter Weg, Feldberger Seenlandschaft 2021, with an expansive dimension of 220 x 450 cm. The photograph shows a view of an ordinary country road in Mecklenburg, with which Struth has familiarised himself over the last two years of enforced isolation. Themes such as loneliness, mortality and survival resonate in the landscape’s ambiguity. The profusion of branches underneath freshly fallen snow poses similar visual challenges as the view of the equipment in the engine rooms at CERN.
The second gallery space across the street is visible and accessible through wide shop windows. Thomas Struth displays new Family Portraits here, a subject which he has been returning to repeatedly since 1985. More recently, the period of social distancing nurtured the desire to continue working with people. The portraits reveal Struth’s special interest in family life with its psychological entanglements.
Thomas Struth (*1954, Geldern) lives and works in Berlin. Since 1987, Struth has been exhibiting regularly at Galerie Max Hetzler. Major retrospectives of the artist’s work have been recently held at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2019) and Haus der Kunst, Munich (2017). In 2016, his comprehensive solo exhibition Nature & Politics was inaugurated at Museum Folkwang, Essen, before travelling to Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; High Museum, Atlanta; Moody Center for the Arts, Houston; and finally to the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri. Further important solo exhibitions have taken place at international institutions including MAST Foundation, Bologne (2019); Aspen Art Museum (2018); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014 and 2003); Kunsthaus Zürich; Museu Serralves, Porto; K20, Dusseldorf (all in 2011); Museo del Prado, Madrid (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Dallas Museum of Art (2002)
Thomas Struth’s works are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Art Institute of Chicago; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kunsthaus Zürich; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Dallas Museum of Art, among others.
Installation view, Thomas Struth at Galerie Max Hetzler, Bleibtreustraße 15/16, Berlin, March 3 - May 21, 2022. Photo: def image