The Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre reopened after a major refurbishment in early February, with its first major exhibition being a retrospective of the work of Andreas Gursky.
Andreas Gursky is an acclaimed German photographer, well known for his large-scale pictures, so a visit was on my list when I was last in London.
This exhibition also marks the beginning of the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary year. The Gallery is nothing much to look at from the outside and the exterior architecture is often described as brutal. However, the two year refurbishment has focussed on allowing the gallery’s pyramid roof lights to bathe the spaces below in natural light, as was in the original design.
The Southbank architecture
There are some hard lines and angles in the design of the Southbank Centre buildings but this can give some good lead lines and suited mono processing using the Fuji Arcos film stimulation.
Lots of new tower blocks are being constructed near the Southbank Centre. I was looking to capture the feeling of the cranes towering over the rising building in the two images below.
The Fuji Acros film simulation plus a red filter work for this one, which made the building and cranes stand out against the dark clouds.
But the main purpose of this visit was to view the images of Gursky. It was certainly worth the visit to see his range of work and some great large scale images. His images (often taken from a high vantage point) certainly have impact.
As the gallery information says : ‘these images make use of a ‘democratic’ perspective that gives equal importance to all elements of his highly detailed scenes’.
The newly refurbished Gallery’s pyramid roof lights seemed to work well and did bathe the spaces below in natural light, which made getting a few images of people viewing the images a lot easier.
As the gallery allows photography, it also gave me the opportunity to capture some more images for my Gallery viewing projects – some of which I have included below.
The illuminated shoes of the woman seated on the floor attracted me to this one.
Often an opportunity comes along that makes a good different image – as per the couple seated below.
These next three images try to show the scale of Gursky images on display, with a viewer included to help with the idea of the scale.
My favourite image of “people viewing the images” was the Rückblick (the title of which translates as ‘review’). The results are below.
So the visit to the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre was fruitful in terms of seeing the work of Andreas Gursky and seeing results of the refurbishment of the location. It was also good for getting some more images of my Gallery viewing project.
Certainly recommend a visit in the future.
The final image is a colourful stairway, processed using the Fuji Velvia/Vivid stimulation.