About This Artwork

Andreas Gursky
German, born 1955

Shanghai, 2000

Chromogenic print, edition number two of six
301 x 206 cm (118 1/2 x 81 in.)

Partial and promised gift of Pamela J. and Michael N. Alper, 2001.155

First known for his sublime, minimalist landscapes, Andreas Gursky turned his eye in the 1990s to crowded, chaotic images of contemporary life and seemingly detached, composed views of our increasingly technological and commercial world. One of a number of photographs the artist has made of hotel lobbies around the world, Shanghai envelops the viewer with its overwhelming vertical scale and vivid color. Gursky made the image by photographing the same subject from three different floors, digitally manipulating the images to bring the background to the same resolution as the foreground, and fusing the pictures into one. The result is an otherworldly, towering space in which the floor almost falls out from beneath the viewer. Despite vaguely anecdotal details scattered throughout the photograph, it tells us nothing of the city, the lobby, or the people in the space, but instead represents a moment of luxurious beauty.

Interpretive Resources

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