Whitechapel Gallery presents a retrospective of contemporary photographer Thomas Struth. Until the 16th September, the 70 piece exhibit documents the diverse subject matter featured throughout Struth’s career, from 1978 to 2010.
Struth’s younger work is comprised of black and white shots depicting the overarching landscapes of European and American cities. Attention to sharp-edged and ominous rigidity was inspired by the segregation and decline of his native capital Berlin. At the time of capture, photographs of structurally saturated cities, from Düsseldorf to New York, are bereft of human activity.
Through time, subject soon begins to alter, refocusing attention away from the artificially rooted structures of the world towards the inhabitants. Struth documents the unique cultural result of humans settling across the varied terrains and climates of the globe. As in his cityscapes, Struth starkly conveys unity within apparent difference.
Struth treads voyeurism in his more recent pieces; human subjects are no longer organised into a commissioned photograph, but caught in moments of response, often awe. The exhibition traces the artist’s incremental ambition to depict humanity dwarfed by its own engineering and creative peaks, from Michelangelo’s David to the Kennedy Space Station.
The showing at Whitechapel Gallery promises to demonstrate Thomas Struthe’s encapsulation of a shared human experience, whether in the depths of nature, or in the presence of famed art. This definitive collection of both vision and skill cement Struth’s place at the forefront of contemporary art photography.