Marian Goodman Gallery New York presents an exhibition of new work by Thomas Struth.
This 12th solo show of the artist’s work at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York since 1990 presents two new bodies of work, both of which have their US premiere.
In the North Gallery, the artist continues his analysis of contemporary science and technology.
The South Gallery offers an entirely new subject matter and mode of representation in Struth’s oeuvre.
During the past fifteen months, the artist worked at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin. In the Institute’s own words: “We study the diversity of life histories and evolutionary adaptations and their limits (including diseases) of free-ranging and captive wildlife species, and their interactions with people and their environment in Germany, Europe and worldwide.” “While combining a variety of research approaches and research disciplines, the IZW in the current era of the Anthropocene, virtually all ecosystems in the world are subject to some form of anthropogenic impact. As yet, it is usually not possible to reliably predict the response of wildlife in a specific context to the rapid global change. However, such predictions are urgently needed in order to design appropriate concepts and methods for conservation intervention and prioritize the use of the limited resources available for conservation.
These striking new works, precise and sensitively rendered, represent the artist’s pictorial stance in a surprising new manner. They draw on a range of antecedents, from Struth’s recent photographs of medical settings to the history of memento mori. In choosing subjects from the naturalist domain and in presenting specimens of earthly mortality, Struth touches on the dignity of life itself, our humanist tradition, and evolutionary questions:
“I tried to depict the animals in a beautiful, dignified fashion. I’m interested in the idea of surrender: Once you die, all the circus that you proactively create, the theater, comes to a full stop. These pictures should be like punches, the memento of death as a wake-up call.”
The works in the North Gallery continue the artist’s investigations into our modern day technological and cultural reality and are comprised of stunning large-scale works. Taken in Houston, Berlin and Munich, his images take us from the NASA’s Johnston Space Center to Siemens’ high voltage laboratory, from MMM’s medical modelling program to IABG’s testing facility for air and space, security and defense assemblies. Probing the architectural and pictorial depth of the realm in which knowledge, ambition and imagination cooperate, Struth brings us in intimate relationship with the mental complexity of our world.
The current gallery exhibition follows on a number of important solo museum shows this past year in the US and Europe, including Nature & Politics, which will open its third U.S. venue on a global tour on November 5th at the St Louis Art Museum, having been shown earlier at Museum Folkwang, Essen, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, The High Museum, Atlanta, and the Moody Center for the Arts in Houston, TX. In Europe, Figure Ground, the most comprehensive historical survey of Struth’s work to date, highlighting four decades of work in all genres, including some 350 items of research material from the artist’s archive shown for the first time, will remain on view through January 7th, 2018.