Past display archive
15 May 2012 - 20 January 2013
The Bernstein Family, Mündersbach, 1990
© Thomas Struth
This display focuses on portraits of families by the distinguished German photographer Thomas Struth.
Born in 1954, Struth studied at Dusseldorf Academy (1973-80) where his teachers included the painter Gerhard Richter and the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. His engagement with photography dates from 1976. Working at first in black and white and subsequently in colour, Struth’s mature style is characterised by formal precision and an approach that is essentially straightforward, avoiding narrative or artificial effects. His principal motifs include buildings, street scenes, visitors to churches and museums, landscapes, nature studies and portraits.
Struth’s interest in photographing families relates to his own early experience of family albums. The photographs contained in albums form a compendium of information about individuals and their place within a genetically connected group. Struth’s family photographs explore the idea of connectedness, a context in which a person’s appearance, personality and psychology are formed. Characteristically, Struth’s sitters arrange themselves. The resulting images invite the viewer to contemplate the nature of the relationships depicted.
This display complements Struth’s recently commissioned portrait of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh which can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in the exhibition The Queen: Art and Image until 21 October 2012.
© National Portrait Gallery, London