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The re-opening of the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre was long-awaited and greatly anticipated by art lovers and industry experts alike. With its brutalist architecture and provocative exhibitions, the renowned contemporary arts gallery previously hosted work from adventurous and influential artists from around the world, so we were confident the first show to mark its reopening would be worth investigating. We were not disappointed. Celebrating the first major UK retrospective of the work of Andreas Gursky, acclaimed German photographer, we headed down to the river to find out what all the fuss was about.
Driven by a desire to better understand the way the world is constituted and simply delighting in seeing the beauty of it, Gursky’s photography pushes the boundaries of human perception. The exhibition took us through 40 years of his work and his focus on the beauty of large scale. His photographs ranged from Mount Ikeno in Japan through to a behind-the-scenes look at life in an Amazon warehouse. His technique of taking lots of different shots of the same scene and weaving them together to create one master image, made for a really unique style. Allowing all elements in his highly detailed scenes to be properly seen and admired, the views of these incredible sights from around the globe made for such interesting viewing.
As Gursky himself once said, ‘reality can only be shown by constructing it’, the way in which he captured the world was both refreshing and unique and was a pleasure to witness. If the next few exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery are going to be this good, we might have just found our new favourite spot in London.