Thomas Struth is best known for his monumental colour photographs of people looking at art in some of the world’s leading museums and galleries, unaware that they themselves are being recorded for us in turn to scrutinise. But these multi-layered images are just one of a wide range of subjects that the German artist, who studied with both Gerhard Richter and Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, has exposed to his particular and precise form of examination. For example, Struth recently photographed Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh for a portrait commissioned by the National Gallery in London to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
In the mid-1980s Struth began producing a still ongoing series of multi-generational family portraits, made in close collaboration with the sitters and emanating an intense immediacy that is both of and beyond the time when the shutter closed; while another enduring interest has been the largely deserted urban vistas that he describes as “Unconscious Places”.
More recently Struth has been photographing the world’s forests and jungles in his wryly titled “New Pictures from Paradise”, while at the opposite end of the nature-culture spectrum, his latest images depict industrial complexes and research centres across the globe, capturing the nerve centres of the latest in cutting edge technology. Struth’s work goes on show at the Whitechapel Gallery, London from 6 July until 16 September.