Thomas Struth
Germany, 1954
From 1973 to 1980, Thomas Struth studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf with Gerhard Richter and Bernd Becher. He is a member of the generation of Düsseldorf artist-photographers who achieved fame on the international scene in the 1980s. His mentor was Bernd Becher, through his work as a professor at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. The most famous artists in the group, besides Struth, are Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff and Candida Höfer. All their work has direct links to that of Bernd and Hilla Becher, which in turn is related to a certain historical-documentary tradition that goes back to the work of August Sander in pre-Hitler Germany, so we could speak of a kind of ‘German school’. The typologies of industrial construction that Bernd and Hilla Becher were doing from the late 1950s were considered the quintessential model for Conceptual photographic work in their day, though we now see that their scope is not limited to the canons of Conceptual Art. From their masters, Struth’s generation have taken the typological approach to the work, as well as a use of the medium which follows the rules of the documentary style. Moreover, these photographers have continued to pay attention to the contemporary urban forms in which history is materialised.
Jorge Ribalta