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Gallery acquires key Gursky work

This Saturday 22 September, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki reveals its latest major acquisition. Ocean III (2010) is a large-scale photograph by leading contemporary artist, Andreas Gursky. It will be the first work by Gursky to enter a public collection in New Zealand.

Andreas Gursky, Ocean III, 2010


Ocean III is the largest of six photographs in a series depicting major oceans of the world, and one of two featuring the islands of New Zealand. The inspiration for the series was Gursky's observation of the flight path programme while travelling from the Middle East to Australia.

'Auckland Art Gallery is to be congratulated for acquiring this remarkable work of art,' says Regional Facilities Auckland Chairman Sir Don McKinnon. 'It demonstrates the Gallery's continued dedication and commitment to bringing international art of an exceptional calibre not only to Auckland, but to the rest of New Zealand.'

'We are tremendously excited to be able to represent the work of such an important international artist, even more so given the particular nature of its subject, which in one way serves to represent our place in the Pacific like no other work in a New Zealand public collection', says Gallery Director Chris Saines. 'Gursky is a giant in the contemporary art world, with an impressive global reputation, and we are thrilled to have secured this work.'

'The subject of Ocean III deals with a core strand of interest to New Zealand and Pacific audiences and artists - that great expanse of ocean that defines our position in the world. It features the islands of New Zealand at the edge of a seeming blue abyss. It is a remarkable reminder of our Oceanic and Pacific location, and a fascinating realisation of how great that limitless ocean around us really is'.

The German artist, known for his immense and striking images of contemporary life, delivers with Ocean III a view of the Pacific Ocean that exceeds 4.5 metres in length and is 2.5 metres high.

Gursky worked with high-definition satellite photographs that normally focus on the earth's landmasses. Due to the absence of adequate mapping of the world's oceans, he recreated ocean zones himself after consulting shoal maps.

'This single work by Andreas Gursky has the capacity to re-orientate the viewers' relationship to our geographic borders', says contemporary art Curator Natasha Conland. 'It is both stunning and disorientating in its effect, and provides a new cornerstone for the Gallery's international contemporary collection.'

The acquisition of Ocean III was made possible with the combined support and generosity of the Graeme Maunsell Trust, M A Serra Bequest, Lyndsay Garland and Dingley Trusts.

Ocean III (2010) will hang in the Gallery's international contemporary exhibition on level one. The acquisition was made with the participation of the artist and his representative, Gagosian Gallery, New York, with the cooperation of Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland.


Image credit: Andreas Gursky, Ocean III, 2010
chromogenic print, © Andreas Gursky, VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with funds from the Graeme Maunsell Trust, M A Serra Bequest, Lyndsay Garland Trust and Dingley Trust, 2012

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