Dandelion Room

Girasoles brillantes N° 1, Winterthur 1991 | Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

In the early 1990s, as part of the expansion of the Lindberg hospital in Winterthur, Switzerland, Thomas Struth was invited by the director of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Dieter Schwarz, to furnish new patients’ rooms with photographs. Over several visits, Struth came to empathize with people subjected to lengthy periods of hospitalization. He photographed landscapes in the region and hung these photographs opposite the hospital beds, so that patients could look at familiar motifs. At the head of each bed, Struth hung a close-up of a plant, which, in its portrait-like character, depicted its individuality, beauty, and vulnerability, thereby becoming a metaphor for the patient’s own situation.