Thomas Struth is a German photographer born in 1954. He lives and works in Berlin and New York. His work displays a variety of themes and subjects. There are depictions of family portraits; jungles and comprehensive cityscapes. Struth studied painting from 1973 to 1980 at the Düsseldorf Academy. In 1976, a student exhibition was held at the Academy, so Struth also took part by displaying 49 photos using centralized symmetry and perspective to show the deserted streets of Düsseldorf. They were simple images and no form of digital manipulation was used. A year later, Struth travelled for two months to England and in 1979 he went to Paris to take pictures of cityscapes. Soon he started to make mostly black and white series in Rome, 1984; Edinburgh, 1985; Tokyo, 1986 and in other places.
In the 1980s, another dimension emerged in Thomas Struth’s work – family portraits. Some portraits were monochrome while others in color.
His teachers were Peter Kleeman and Gerhard Richter. Later Struth became interested in photography, and with the support of Richter, Struth joined classes for photography. By 2007, he became an artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
In 1989, the photographer started working on his renowned series, Museum Photographs that was devoted to the visitors of some great buildings and museums around the world, including the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Accademia, Venice; the Pantheon, Rome; and The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, he took pictures of people visiting churches in Rome and Naples.
He then began photographing places with powerful worldly importance, including Yosemite National Park and Times Square in the United States. The first series of Museum Photographs was dedicated to Pergamon Museum, Berlin which he took from 1996 to 2001. The in 2005, he produced Museo del Prado, composed of five images taken within one week, shot from dissimilar angles, of people visiting Velázquez’s Las Meninas. In the same year, he began working on another series that consisted of close shots of an audience of a single work in St. Petersburg at the Hermitage.
Thomas Struth worked simultaneously on most of his projects, hence from 1998 until 2006, he began hunting the world for jungles in Australia, China, Europe, America and Japan. The first jungle series by him took place in Australia in the Daintree Rainforest in 1998. He created eight of large format photos for his work titled Pictures from Paradise.
Then amid 1995 and 2003, he produced a sequence of photos featuring flocks of people gathered at symbolic locations as both pilgrims or tourists. Apart from this, in 2010, he switched to photographing places with scientific and technological significance, such as space stations, nuclear facilities, pharmaceutical factories, dockyards and other such sites.
Meanwhile, the talented photographer kept adding a compilation of family portraits to his work portfolio. Gerard Richter in 2002 asked Struth to make a portrait of Richter and his family for an article based on Richter’s efforts in the New York Times Magazine. Later, the National Portrait Gallery commissioned Struth to make portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh and of Queen Elizabeth II.
While working on his projects, he taught at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Germany from 1993 until 1996. Then in 2010, he working as a professor at Oxford University for one year.
Thomas Struth has had many solo exhibitions, including Documenta IX in1992 and 44th Venice Biennale in 1990. In 1998, he participated in a group show in London called Another Objectivity at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. His work has been displayed in many other exhibitions.