Thomas Struth. Le Lignon, Geneva. 1989

Thomas Struth Le Lignon, Geneva 1989

  • Not on view

In the late 1970s, Struth abandoned painting to study photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher, and his earliest photographic work—black-and-white views that invariably look straight down the middle of a city street—are consistent with the Bechers' highly systematic approach. After a few years, however, he realized that nothing but his own rules kept him from moving the camera and pointing it in any direction that seemed promising. Struth thus gave up the rigorous structure associated with Minimal and Conceptual art to explore the potentially infinite fluidity of photographic description.

While Struth was vigorously developing other aspects of his work, he continued for many years to make modestly scaled, black-and-white views, adding to a body of work that eventually became global in scope. Despite the remarkable variety of architecture that appears in these pictures, they maintain a highly consistent style, equally attentive to the monumental and the minute. Here the artist's high vantage point and oblique angle of view concisely render the grand sweep of the modernist housing project and its man-made landscape while simultaneously enumerating its strangely uninhabited individual parts.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, p. 108.
Gelatin silver print
16 15/16 × 22 11/16" (43 × 57.6 cm)
Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel
Object number
© 2020 Thomas Struth

Installation views

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