MoMA
Andreas Gursky. Rhine II. 1999
Andreas Gursky

Rhine II

1999
Not on view
Medium
Chromogenic color print
Dimensions
61 1/4" x 10' 1 1/2" (155.6 x 308.6 cm)
Credit
Gift of Thomas W. Weisel
Object number
416.2002
Copyright
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Large photographs intended to compete with paintings on the walls of galleries and museums began to become a norm in the 1980s. One of the challenges that faced the artists who made them was the need to marshal photography's abundant bits and pieces of descriptive detail into images that could command attention when viewed from a distance. Gursky conquered that challenge with bold geometric patterns that disclose a wealth of complexity as the viewer approaches. Occasionally he achieves the pattern with the help of digital techniques; in Rhine II industrial buildings have been eliminated from the background. This romantic hymn to the grandeur of the Rhine River emulates the haunting simplicity of abstract paintings by Barnett Newman and others, but the image is instantly recognizable as a landscape. And the mesmerizing silver–gray fabric that represents the waves on the water is a swath of unmistakably photographic fact.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, p. 169
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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource