From images of nature to photographs of cities, crowds, and commercial products, Andreas Gursky (b. 1955) invents new worlds from existing elements, constructing tableaux based on his methodical observations. In his large-format, high-definition photographs, he presents hyperfocused scenes that privilege neither foreground nor background. SH II (2014) belongs to a recent series in which iconic superheroes drawn from the Marvel or DC Comic universes—such as Iron Man or Spider-Man—are set amid dramatic landscapes or cityscapes. Here, the Superman character is presented naturalistically, gazing off into the vast distance. While Gursky commonly employs digital manipulations in his photographs, the fictional subject matter of this series is a rather unique feature for the artist that alludes to alternative worlds adjacent to our own.
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