Over the past two decades the renowned German photographer Thomas Struth has devoted his attention to the production of one of his largest series which relates to the public’s daily relationship with works of art in museums around the world. Struth completed this project with images taken in the Prado. As such, the exhibition marks the start of the Museum’s initiative to offer “other viewpoints” on its collection.
For more than twenty years, Struth has been interested in representing the social spaces in which art is celebrated: temples, churches and in particular museums.This intention has led him to visit the main cities and museums throughout the world, from the Musée du Louvre in Paris to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Over this period, Struth has focused his creative activities on portraying the daily life of works of art within the museum space and their relationship with visitors. Conceived as individual works or as larger series devoted to a single institution, Struth’s project was the subject of a travelling exhibition held in the United States in 2002 which concluded in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The project Making Time held at the Prado consists of 10 photographs. Displayed around the Museum, they illustrate the highly focused work that Struth has realised on the subject of art spaces, starting with Portrait of Giles Robertson of 1987 up to his creations in the Prado. Retrospective photographs such as Dürer’s Self-portrait in Munich, Galleria dell Accademia I (Venice), Liberty leading the People by Delacroix (taken during the time the painting was in the National Museum of Tokyo), and his image of a lone visitor (again in the Tokyo Museum) are displayed alongside with various photographs taken in the Prado itself. The result is a direct dialogue with the most celebrated galleries and works of art in the Museo del Prado.
Furthermore, late works by the artist made in the Hermitage Museum, Galleria dell'Academia an the Prado Museum can be seen in the Museum's new extension as an additional part of the Making Time exhibition (28 April - 1 July).
Making Time is the result of a collaboration between a living artist and the Museo del Prado. It marks the Museum’s intention to open up a new direction with the aim of establishing “other viewpoints” on its collections and ones which will invite reflection in a way comparable to initiatives at other international, historic museums.