Andreas Gursky’s Stock Exchanges – Humans reduced to a blob of color

Andreas Gursky - Kuwait Stock Exchange II, 2007
Andreas Gursky – Kuwait Stock Exchange II, 2007, photo: VG Bild-Kunst, Sprüth Magers, Berlin/London

About Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky is a German photographer and professor. He is most well known for large format architecture and landscape color photos, and following the 1990s, Gursky has been using technology and computers to edit and enhance his photos.

First Stock Exchange photo in 1990

Gursky is known for using an elevated vantage point as his main perspective. This allows the audience to view the scenes from a place that is both peripheral and central. Using each subject to create an unconventional geometry, he organizes the world, fitting in with his personal visual logic. He began his portrayals of stock exchanges in 1990 and has continued this project throughout his career. Projects like this lead towards his visit to North Korea as well as a photos of concerts, sport events and other large-scale events.

About the Stock Exchange series

More than any artist of his generation, Andreas Gursky’s photographic eye identifies the subjects of our contemporary landscape, which most acutely defines the way we live today. His Stock Exchange series, ten images made over 20 years on three continents, charts the history of our modern age of globalization. The activities of his traders link the entire globe through an invisible matrix of trades and economic dependency. Reduced in scale to the size of ants, they force the viewer to critically reappraise the very nature of human activity.

Video: Gursky’s five Stock Exchanges

3 min 6 sec

Stock Exchange photos

Tokyo Stock Exchange, 1990

Tokyo Stock Exchange, 1990, is the first of his series of trading floors.

Andreas Gursky - Tokyo, Stock Exchange, 1990
Andreas Gursky – Tokyo Stock Exchange, 1990
Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, 1994

Hong Kong Stock Exchange, 1994, gives viewers a geometric panorama of the busy trading floor. The subjects (e.g., the traders) are depicted as anonymous bodies working desperately at work at computer screens. Gursky uses multiple vantage points to create a single extensive scene.

Andreas Gursky - Hong Kong, Stock Exchange II, 1994
Andreas Gursky – Hong Kong, Stock Exchange II, 1994
Andreas Gursky - Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, diptych, 1994
Andreas Gursky – Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, diptych, 1994
Andreas Gursky - Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, diptych (detail, left), 1994
Andreas Gursky – Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, diptych (left), 1994
Andreas Gursky - Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, diptych (detail, right), 1994
Andreas Gursky – Hong Kong, Stock Exchange, diptych (right), 1994
Singapore Stock Exchange, 1997
Andreas Gursky - Singapore Stock Exchange I, 1997
Andreas Gursky – Singapore Stock Exchange I, 1997
Andreas Gursky - Singapore Stock Exchange II, 1997
Andreas Gursky – Singapore Stock Exchange II, 1997
Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 1997
Andreas Gursky - Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 1997
Andreas Gursky – Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 1997

2 min 4 sec
Chicago Board of Trade, 1997/1999

In Chicago Board of Trade, 1997 and Chicago Board of Trade III, 1999, one can see an ocean of bright jackets of the traders, symbolic in the financial world. Each human subject is reduced to a blob of color.

Andreas Gursky - Chicago Board of Trade I, 1997
Andreas Gursky – Chicago Board of Trade I, 1997
Andreas Gursky - Chicago Board of Trade II, 1999
Andreas Gursky – Chicago Board of Trade II, 1999
Andreas Gursky - Chicago board of trade III, 1999-2009, C-print, 223 x 307 cm.
Andreas Gursky – Chicago Board of Trade III, 1999
New York Mercantile Exchange, 1999
Andreas Gursky - New York, Merchantile Exchange, 1999
Andreas Gursky – New York Mercantile Exchange, 1999
Kuwait Stock Exchange, 2007
Andreas-Gursky-Kuwait-Stock-Exchange-II-2007
Andreas Gursky – Kuwait Stock Exchange I, 2007, photo: VG Bild-Kunst, Sprüth Magers, Berlin/London

All images by Andreas Gursky & VG Bild-Kunste & Sprüth Magers, Berlin London, unless otherwise noted.

 

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