Jeff Elrod (b. 1966)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)

Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park II

Details
Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park II
signed, titled, numbered and dated ‘Grand Hyatt Park 1/3 ‘94 Andreas Gursky’ (on the reverse)
C-print back-mounted on Dibond in artist’s frame
image: 75 ¾ x 63 3/8in. (192.5 x 161cm.)
overall: 85 x 68 ¼in. (216 x 173.5cm.)
Executed in 1994, this work is number one from an edition of three

Another work from this edition is in the collection of Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich.
Provenance
Private Collection.
Literature
U. Grosenick and B. Riemschneider (eds.), Art at the Turn of the Millenium, Cologne 1999, no. 2 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 207).
J. M. Colard, ‘Andreas Gursky Macroscope’, in Beaux Arts Magazine, Paris 2001, no. 7 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 53).
Exhibited
Liverpool, Tate Gallery, Andreas Gursky: Images, 1995, p. 67 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 47).
London, The Saatchi Gallery, Young German Artists 2 At The Saatchi Gallery, 1997 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Andreas Gursky: Photographs from 1984 to the Present, 1998, pp. 14 and 19 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 85).
Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Andreas Gursky: Fotografien 1994-1998, 1998-2000, pp. 14 and 24 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated p. 25). This exhibition later travelled to Winterthur, Fotomuseum Winterthur; London, Serpentine Gallery; Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; Turin, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belém.
London, The Saatchi Gallery, I Am A Camera, 2001, no. 237 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, unpaged).
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Andreas Gursky, 2001-2002, pp. 130 and 185, no. 36 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 131). This exhibition later travelled to Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou and Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art.
Klosterneuburg, Sammlung Essl - Kunst der Gegenwart, Foto.kunst, 2007, p. 48 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 49 and 307).
Linz, Landesgalerie Linz am Oberösterreichischen Landesmuseum, New Topographics, Texte und Rezeption, 2010-2011 (illustrated in colour, p. 147). This exhibition later travelled to Cologne, Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

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Lot Essay

In Andreas Gursky’s Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park, 1994, the artist presents a staggering birds-eye view over the manicured lawns and winding walkways of a tree-studded park, to the harbour beyond, where industrial ships make their way into the wide open sea. Stretching two metres in height, the work towers over the viewer, presenting a God-like aerial panorama in which each minute figure that lines the paths of the park is rendered with complete anonymity. An early example of Gursky’s practice, Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park has been included in multiple surveys of the artist’s work, including exhibitions at the Tate, Liverpool in 1995, and at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 1998. Created just prior to the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China, this image captures the atmosphere of a city caught in the throes of change. Juxtaposing the immaculate greenery, shimmering lake and near-clinical architecture of the plaza with the comparatively desolate atmosphere of the commercial harbour and ominous ocean that lies across the road, Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park simultaneously represents a real and artificial landscape, both technically and conceptually.

Far from being a single image, Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park represents a digital amalgamation of numerous perspectival stances, granting the viewer an omniscient vantage point. The work presents a grand spectacle of human activity: from the peaceful tranquility of the figures doing Tai Chi in the immediate foreground, to the bustling shipyard captured mid-construction in the distance. However, despite the structural and narrative complexity of the image, Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park remains rigorously ordered, divided into distinct compositional bands. Gursky’s exquisite detail is subsumed by the work’s architectural scaffolding, imbuing the work with an almost Minimalist sense of geometric purity. By creating distance between the viewer and his subject matter, Gursky induces a kind of unearthly transcendence – a vision of the world as we have never experienced it before. As Alix Ohlin has written, ‘The subject of Gursky’s work, is the contemporary locus of the sublime: a grand power in the face of which we feel our own smallness ... Gursky’s vast photographs of the Hong Kong stock exchange, massive ships docked at a harbour, cargo planes preparing to take off, a government building-testify to this power. Although his photographs give us images of globalization, Gursky is seeking less to document the phenomenon than to invoke the sublime in it’ (A. Ohlin, ‘Andreas Gursky and the Contemporary Sublime’, in Art Journal, vol. 61, no. 4, Winter 2002, p. 24).

Originally taught by Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Gursky has often been associated with a documentary style of photography. However, through his use of large-format imagery and brilliant colour, his work makes a fundamental departure from reality. Indeed, faced with what he considered to be the fundamental inadequacies of documentary practice, in 1992 Gursky was persuaded to begin using digital technology as a means of manipulation. In doing so, the artist skillfully generated an ‘illusion of a fictitious reality’, caught between accurate representation and a purposefully artificial reframing of the world (R. Pfab, ‘Perception and Communication: Thoughts on New Motifs by Andreas Gursky’, in Andreas Gursky: Photographs from 1984 to the Present, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf, 1998, p. 9). In Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Park, Gursky masterfully distils the emergent patterns and gridded symmetries of his vista, highlighting the consensual flow of data, people and architecture. A portrait of a landscape in flux, the work perfectly embodies the artist’s quest to capture a globalized vision of the world.

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