* 1954 Geldern/Niederrhein
Thomas Struth studied painting in the class of Gerhard Richter and photography in the class of Bernd Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1973 until 1980. During that time he worked on photo documentation projects in black and white: in motives showing mainly deserted streets and buildings as well as industrial districts without human beings, he analyzed architecture and urban development in their cultural and socio-historical context. In 1978 the academy in Düsseldorf awarded him a scholarship for New York, where his first single exhibition took place still in the same year. In 1980 the alternative service in a community center interrupted his artistic activities for two years. When he resumed them, he focussed his photographic ambitions on the representation of urban scenes of selected cities like Naples, Tokyo, Chicago and Berlin. It was his intention to catch the particular mood and social relations in an urban complex, which always differ from city to city because of their individual built-up areas. He paid special attention to the streets, which, according to Struth, radiate this particular urban atmosphere - an atmosphere whose effect is always triggered by the system of architecture. The artist's works gained international acknowledgement in exhibitions, e.g. in Munich, Cologne, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Washington and New York. In 1993 Struth received a chair at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, which he had until 1996. Besides these reoccurring urban pictures, Struth's photographic oeuvre includes portraits, landscapes and his museum pictures.