A student to Bernd and Hilla Becher from 1980 to 1987 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf where he also teaches since 2010, Gursky uses a large format for the shooting and implements his pictures with an impeccable geometric rigor. Like his mentors he deals with different subjects under similar viewing angles that invite for comparisons.
He is the leading artist for the photographic printing in very large sizes. In chronological order Los Angeles, Cibachrome print 158 x 316 cm prepared in 1998 and exhibited in 1999, is a step between the Rhein-I 146 x 181 cm of 1996 and the Rhein II 185 x 364 cm of 1999. The number 1/6 of Rhein II was sold for $ 4.3M including premium by Christie's on November 8, 2011.
Los Angeles is a bird's-eye view encompassing the entire conurbation at night as a galactic form illuminated from the ground by the human activity and upper-lined by an orange pollution halo that simulates the rotundity of the Earth. Three wide linear avenues join at the horizon in a perfectly symmetrical figure. This bright stripe of the city separates the foreground and the sky made in a same deep black.
Los Angeles was edited in six copies. The number 3/6 was sold for £ 1,48M including premium by Sotheby's on February 27, 2008. Mounted in an author's frame and protected by a Plexiglas, 4/6 is estimated £ 1,4M for sale by Phillips in London on October 6, lot 24.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for £ 1.7M including premium