Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
November 5—January 21, 2018
Main Exhibition Galleries, East Building
$12 adults, $10 seniors and students, and $6 children ages 6 to 12, Free for members
Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
is a photographic exploration of cutting-edge industrial and scientific research spaces. In over 35 works created within the past decade, the celebrated German artist Thomas Struth ambitiously takes technology and engineering as his overarching subject. With vivid color and monumental scale, he investigates the fascinating complexities of sites where knowledge, ambition, and imagination are advanced.
The featured works are drawn from the artist's visits to Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East. Struth takes viewers into spaces normally kept from public view, such as aeronautical centers, robotics laboratories, and nuclear fusion facilities, examining humanity's attempts to understand and harness forces of nature, often at great cost of resources.
Nature & Politics intersperses Struth's technological subjects with other recent work, including images of the fantasy environments of Disneyland and the politically contested landscape of Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This poses intriguing questions about the relationship between nature and humanity in our increasingly fabricated world, as well as drawing attention to the financial and political ambition that underscores the massive technological endeavors of our present day.
Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is 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. The St. Louis presentation is supported by a grant from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition is curated for St. Louis by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs.
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia
2013; chromogenic print; image: 84 × 142 7/8 inches; High Museum of Art, 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
- Free for Members
- $12 for adults
- $10 for seniors and students
- $6 for children ages 6 to 12
- Free for children 5 and under
- Free on Fridays
Advance tickets are not required, but are strongly recommended for best availability, especially on Fridays when tickets are free. Tickets cannot be obtained by calling the Museum directly. Tickets are only available in person at the Museum's Information Centers, online through MetroTix, or by phone calling MetroTix at 314.534.1111. Tickets purchased or reserved through MetroTix incur a service charge; the service charge is waived for tickets reserved at the Museum. Advance tickets for Fridays are limited to 6 tickets per person. All tickets, including tickets for Free Fridays, are issued for a specific date and time
Ask a Docent
Museum docents will be available to answer your Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
questions from 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays November 8 through January 20. Exhibition admission required.
Guided tours of the exhibition for 10 or more participants are available and must be scheduled online in advance. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow at least four weeks advance notice. Group tours are not available on Fridays. Book your tour here
The last entry to Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
is one hour before the Museum closes.
After visiting the Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
stop by either Museum Shop location and explore merchandise inspired by the exhibition. Members save 10 percent!
Visitor parking is available in the two lots located on the north side of Fine Arts Drive or in the paid underground garage. Accessible parking is available in the public lots and in the parking garage. Accessible entrances and drop-off areas are located directly in front of the East Building and in the parking garage. Members receive up to a $10 discount on garage parking.
All areas of the Museum are accessible. Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the Information Centers.
Large print interpretive materials for Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
are available at our Taylor Hall Information Center. Due to copyright regulations, they are not available online.
All events in The Farrell Auditorium, including free events, are ticketed.
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Mountain, Anaheim 2013
; chromogenic print; 83 1/2 × 130 7/8 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Golems Playground, Georgia Tech, Atlanta 2013
; chromogenic print; 92 1/2 × 129 1/8 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X Detail, Max Planck IPP, Greifswald 2009
; chromogenic print; 64 1/4 × 83 5/8 inches; High Museum of Art, purchase with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, 2010.241 © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Hot Rolling Mill
, Thyssenkrupp Steel, Duisburg 2010; chromogenic print; 71 1/4 × 83 1/2 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Al-Ram Quarry, Kafr 'Aqab 2011
; archival pigment image: 52 7/8 × 65 3/4 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Tickets to the exhibition and related programs may be purchased or reserved in person at the Museum's Information Centers or through MetroTix at metrotix.com or 314.534.1111. All tickets purchased or reserved through MetroTix incur a service charge; the service charge is waived for tickets purchased or reserved at the Museum. Same day tickets, if available, can be obtained on-site only.
Opening LectureEric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs
Thomas Struth and the Art of Technology
Friday, November 3, 11 am
The Farrell Auditorium, Free
Learn more about Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics from Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs, at our free opening lecture.Get Tickets
Conversation with the Artist: Thomas Struth
Sunday, November 5, 2 pm
The Farrell Auditorium
Thomas Struth, photographer
$20/$15 Members. Purchase tickets
Internationally celebrated photographer Thomas Struth will take part in a cross-disciplinary panel to discuss his images of technological frontiers on view in Nature & Politics
. The panelists will bring different perspectives on technology to bear on the work, engaging with broader issues raised at the intersection of art, science, and culture. Panelists include:
- Thomas Struth
- Eric Lutz
Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs
Saint Louis Art Museum
- Talia Dan-Cohen
Assistant Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
- James Beacham
Post-doctoral researcher, The Ohio State University
ATLAS Experiment at CERN
Thomas Struth in Context
Wednesdays, November 15, 29, and December 6, 10:30 am-noon
$50/$40 Members. Purchase tickets
This multiple session class takes an in-depth look at the work of photographer Thomas Struth. The class will investigate the sites of technology featured in Nature & Politics
and, through the perspective of three scholars, place the photographer’s recent work within a broader historical and artistic context. Presenters include:
- Ivy Cooper
Professor of Art History, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
- Hannah Klemm
Assistant curator of contemporary art
- Eric Lutz
Associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs
SLAM Underground: Tech
Friday, November 24, 7–10 pm
Join us for activities, cocktails, and art making inspired by the exhibition.
Admission is free. Details at slam.org/underground
Presentation and Film Series
Friday, January 12, 7 pm
The Farrell Auditorium
Utopia/Dystopia: Thomas Struth and the Image of Nature and Technology in Film
Lutz Koepnick, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of German, Cinema and Media Arts, Vanderbilt University
In this presentation, media scholar and art critic Lutz Koepnick will bring Struth’s work in conversation with various films that pose questions about the future of humans and the role of nature amid the complexities of our technology-filled world. After Friday evening’s introductory talk, return to the Museum on Saturday and Sunday to view related films selected by Koepnick in The Farrell Auditorium. Saturday films are each $5/Members free. Sunday’s film is $15/$10 Members.
Saturday, January 13
11 am: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
(1971, 1h 29m)
2 pm: Blade Runner
(1982, 1h 57m) * This film is rated R
Sunday, January 14
2 pm: Metropolis
(1927, 2h 33m)
Presented with live musical accompaniment
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Space Shuttle 1, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral 2008
; chromogenic print; 78 ½ × 12 ft. 4 ¼ inches; Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery © Thomas Struth
Members See it Free
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Just for Members
Friday, November 3, 10 am–8 pm
Saturday, November 4, 10 am–4 pm
Member Exhibition Preview Days
Members get a sneak peek of Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
before the exhibition officially opens.