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Chicago Board of Trade of 1997
By Andreas Gursky,
Size: 185 x 241 centimetres
(72 x 94 inches)
Estimated price: £700,000-900,000

Later this month, Sotheby’s, London will offer a collection of five iconic depictions of international stock exchanges by Andreas Gursky. These dynamic and monumental images chart the history of our modern age of globalisation.

Made over 20 years, across three continents, Gursky’s Stock Exchange Series depicts a contemporary landscape that defines the way we live today. Suspended in motion, the frantic energy contained in these images of trading floors suggests they are poised on the edge of apotheosis or collapse.

Tokyo Stock Exchange of 1990 was the first of Gursky’s pantheon. This was followed by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of 1994, with a geometric panorama of the trading floor that cleverly uses multiple viewpoints to compose a single expansive scene. The Kuwait Stock Exchange of 2008 is distinctive for its minimalist palette that is determined by the uniformity of the traders’ white robes.

The highlight of the group is the Chicago Board of Trade of 1997. In this image, Gursky reduces each human being to a blob of colour, the traders’ brightly coloured jackets transformed through the camera lens into daubs of colour, like pigment on a canvas. This work expertly demonstrates Gursky’s mastery of digital manipulation to readdress the balance between abstraction and figuration.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale will take place in London on June 26, 2013For further information, please visit www.sothebys.com

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 23, 2013.