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Past Exhibitions

Thomas Struth: Nature and Politics

October 16, 2016–January 8, 2017

Thomas Struth (German, born 1954)
Tokamak Asdex Upgrade Interior 2, Max Planck IPP, Garching, 2009.
Chromogenic print. © Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth (German, born 1954)
Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013.
Chromogenic print. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family, the Hagedorn Family, Lucinda W. Bunnen for the Bunnen Collection, and through prior acquisitions, 2014.23. © Thomas Struth

The High was the first museum in the United States to present a new body of work by German photographer Thomas Struth with this major touring exhibition, which features more than 30 works by the renowned artist.

Struth is celebrated for his innovations in large-scale color photography. Nature & Politics combines Struth’s varied interests—including cityscapes, architecture, portraits, landscapes, and museums—to focus on technology and the manufactured landscape as overarching subjects. The photographs are drawn from Struth’s travels in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and America over the past 10 years, including two made in Atlanta in 2013: one in the Georgia Aquarium (now a monumental print in the High’s permanent collection) and one of a robotics workroom at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The featured works examine how human ambition and imagination physically manifest in the highly complex constructions that shape the world in which we live. Many of the photographs record the structural complexities of remote techno-industrial and scientific research spaces, such as physics institutes, pharmaceutical plants, space stations, dockyards and nuclear facilities. These photographs uncover sites of scientific development—typically kept from public view—where the heights of human knowledge are enacted, debated and advanced. Struth’s images also reveal the layers of politics and the influences of the past and present often found in human-crafted environments.

Organization and Support

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics was co-organized by the Museum Folkwang, Essen; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum. In Atlanta, this exhibition was made possible with support from The Donald and Marilyn Keough Family. Additional support was provided by Friends of A Year in Photography and Friends of Photography.