Andreas GurskyThe Rhine II 1999

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Artwork details

Andreas Gursky (born 1955)
The Rhine II
Der Rhein II
Date 1999
MediumPhotograph, colour, Chromogenic print, on paper
Dimensionsframe: 2063 x 3575 x 50 mm image: 1564 x 3083 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 2000
Not on display


The Rhine II was produced in an edition of six; Tate owns the fifth in the series. This large colour photograph depicts a stretch of the river Rhine outside Düsseldorf. The image is immediately legible as a view of a straight stretch of water, but it is also an abstract configuration of horizontal bands of colour of varying widths. The horizon line bisects the picture almost exactly in the middle. Above it the overcast sky is a blue-grey. In the bottom half of the image, the river is a glassy, unbroken band between green stripes of grass. At the bottom of the picture in the immediate foreground is a narrow path. Below it is another thin band of manicured green grass.

Gursky works with a medium format camera, taking pictures which he then scans into a computer where he can manipulate them. His aim in using digital technology is not to create fictions but rather to heighten the image of something that exists in the world. He has described the genesis of this work, saying, ‘there is a particular place with a view over the Rhine which has somehow always fascinated me, but it didn’t suffice for a picture as it basically constituted only part of a picture. I carried this idea for a picture around with me for a year and a half and thought about whether I ought perhaps to change my viewpoint ..… (read more)

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