“Paradise is the name of a photo series that depicts the jungle in Brazil, Japan, China and Australia. This is how we almost imagined the jungle, the warmth, the lush green. At the same time we know that the jungle with its climate hostile to humans, the snakes and the insects is hell. The opposite of paradise. Regardless of hell or heaven, the pristine nature of these forests is under threat for homo sapiens, invisible in Struth’s work, is taking it down.”
Veit Loers, in: Paradies und Zurück, Sammlung Rheingold in Schloss Dyck, Publisher: Sammlung Rheingold, Snoeck-Verlag 2008, p. 18
born 1954 in Geldern
lives and works in Berlin and New York
“Thomas Struth studied at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf from 1973 to 1980. In 1978 he was awarded the Academy’s first-ever scholarship for New York City where he created a series of black and white urban landscapes, that he presented in his first solo exhibition at P.S. 1 New York in the same year. In the mid-1980s he began a series of black and white and colour portraits of individuals and families that exemplify his believe that photography is a scientific tool of psychological research. This ongoing work on one hand investigates personal and cultural dynamics that shape our self-perception and on the other hand examines how our individual and collective identities shape this perception.
Following on from the portraits and under the influenced of contemporary art’s growing popularity Struth developed his most well-known series, the Museum Photographs (1989-2005): In large-scale colour photographs he captures groups and individuals looking at iconic works of Western art inside the most important museums in the world. These images mark the museum visit as complex social ritual of see-and-be-seen and address the existence of works in public collections.
During the last fifteen years, Struth has expanded his repertoire to include other subjects. Among these are: New Pictures from Paradise (1998-2007), religious and touristic gathering places (from 1998) and since 2007 images from the areas of basic research, science, industrial production and technique which investigate how the belief in progress presents itself as a group-dynamic process.
Important solo exhibitions of his works have among others been presented at Kunsthalle Bern (1987), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1994), Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes (1998), National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo and Kyoto (2000), Dallas Museum of Art (2002), Museo del Prado, Madrid (2007) as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2003 and 2014).
A large-scale retrospective travelled from Kunsthaus Zurich (2010) and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20, Dusseldorf (2011), to Whitechapel Gallery, London (2011), and the Museu Serralves in Porto (2011/12).”
Atelier Thomas Struth, Berlin