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Andreas Gursky
Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
Recommendation by Michael Shaw

Continuing through May 1, 2010

Andreas Gursky, he of the first "million-dollar photograph," has finally touched down in L.A. with both a new body of work as well as a sample of self-selected efforts dating back to 1989. The centerpiece, however, is a selection of five mammoth (up to 12-feet) photographs of the ocean (we're not told which) from satellite images. Considering Gursky's history of elaborate shoot set-ups, it's surprising to consider that this "Ocean" series has put most of the emphasis on the development process.  As with his older work, all the photos are C-prints (and all in editions of 6, even the one from 1989), a fact that leaves many scratching their heads as to how he executes such ambitiously-sized prints. One could never accuse the satellites that provided these images of not doing their jobs - in fact, the quality of the details in the "Ocean" prints, upon close inspection, offer watercolor-like nuances. There is a graininess to the older offerings - such high-density studies as a Madonna concert or the Chicago Board of Trade in mid-session. Still, no photographer has ever been more forceful with the audacity of his scale, nor cooler towards the subjects filling those planes.

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