The galleries at the Hayward have reopened with a spectacular show of Andreas Gursky.
The galleries themselves have been transformed, in particular the ones upstairs. They are huge and wonderfully light, in every sense of the term. The result is exhilarating.
Gursky is an artist who has expanded the category of photograph in a way which is so technically experimental that the results are often baffling. This is often the result of the distant perspective which he almost always uses. The results seem to be dehumanised and this is especially evident when there are scores of little people scurrying around. In Paris, Montparnasse (1993), a four metre picture of a housing block, he has used computer software to combine multiple images of the 750 flats, in which the inhabitants are almost an indecipherable detail.
This exhibition takes time and you really need to read the labels to comprehend the dizzying array of his methods. I recommend the effort though, you will find yourself drawn in although you may also feel that you have been somewhat manipulated.
Andreas Gursky at the Hayward Gallery, South Bank, London. 25 January 2018 – 22 April 2018. Members free, others £16.00.