Andreas Gursky, Rhein II, 1999
Gurksy, Paris, Montparnasse, 1993
Gurksy, 99 cent, 1999
view of the harbor from my hotel window
view from my kayak off the coast of Stanley Park
This past weekend, I took several days off from the daily grind at EAG to travel to Seattle and ultimately Vancouver for a friend's wedding. Although I checked the weather before packing for the trip, for some reason 60 degrees is a little cooler than I remember. So, needless to say, I ended up spending a bit more time inside than outside in the lovely Canadian city. Since it was a little chilly for my liking (and raining) on Saturday, what better to do than visit the Vancouver Art Gallery? I had read about the current exhibition, Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art, and was thrilled to see some works that I had not seen since my semester abroad during a short visit to Amsterdam. For some reason, the exhibition didn't quite hold my attention the way that the fabulous Andreas Gursky retrospective did.
The cleverly titled Gursky exhibition, Werke/Works 80-08, is a comprehensive collection of over 70 photographs that are all part of his ongoing project to compile an "encyclopedia of life." Due to the breadth of the collection presented, Gursky had to print many of his photographs much smaller than is typical for him, thus offering the viewer a closer look at his entire oeuvre. With work ranging from his well-known architectural photographs featuring interiors and exteriors of hotels and apartment buildings, to abstracted takes on consumerism and capitalist culture, the exhibition is incredibly broad-reaching. This is a wonderful example of a remarkably extensive retrospective. So, if you happen to be in Vancouver, it is one show not-to-miss.
And, while Gursky is great, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and majestic cities I have seen in some time. Its proximity to the water and to the mountains makes it very unique and the view out of my hotel room alone was worth the entire trip.