Thomas Struth

Tue. Dec 16, 2014 at 7:00pm EST
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Thomas Struth

"What drove me from the beginning of my practice is: Which elements compose our sense of reality? What constitutes common sense under the impact of a constant flow of individual experiences? How can picture-making educate and order my perception, and does it stabilize or irritate our existence?" - Thomas Struth


Famed photographer Thomas Struth explores these and other questions in a free-flowing conversation with Paul Holdengraber, on the occasion of the Library's new exhibition, Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing  Photography.


THOMAS STRUTH was born in Germany in 1954 and studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His first comprehensive body of work on streets and architecture, Unconscious Places, has engaged him for four decades. In the mid-1980s, he started on a series of both black-and-white and colored portraits of individuals and families illustrating his vision of photography as a science-derived tool for psychological investigation. This work examines the personal and cultural dynamics that condition our self-image, exploring how this self-image will influence our individual and collective identities. In Museum Photographs, he captured anonymous individuals and crowds looking at iconic works of art in the world’s museums, characterizing museum visits as complex social rituals of seeing and being seen and addressing the way the art survives in public collections. Over the last 15 years, Struth has steadily expanded his repertoire with other themes. These include New Pictures from Paradise (1998–2007), and gathering places for religious believers or tourists (from 1998). Solo exhibitions have included Kunsthalle Bern, Dallas Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo and Kyoto; Museo del Prado, Madrid. Thomas Struth lives and works in Berlin and New York.


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This annual LIVE program on photography is generously underwritten by Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos.


LIVE from the NYPL is made possible with generous support from Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.

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Celeste Bartos Forum The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
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