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Thomas Demand

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Thomas Demand Biography

born Munich, West Germany 1964

Thomas Demand lives and works in Berlin.

Each of Thomas Demand's photographs is one or more steps removed from reality, creating tension between the fabricated and the real. He begins with a pre-existing photograph of an actual location culled from the mass media. While his large-scale photographs resemble these mass-media images, they actually show three-dimensional, life-sized models made from cardboard and paper that Demand builds in his studio solely for the purpose of being photographed. Demand knowingly uses the traditional role of photography as a faithful transcriber of the world to throw his subject's artificiality into doubt. This confounding of references is such that the very idea of an original recedes completely.

Select Timeline

  • 1964 - Born: Munich, Germany.
  • 1987-1989 - Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Munchen. Munich, Germany
  • 1989-1992 - Staatliche Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. Germany
  • 1993-1994 - Goldsmiths College. London.

Select Exhibitions

  • 1992 - Galerie Tanit. Munich, Germany - first solo exhibition
  • 1992 - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL
  • 1992 - Sydney Biennial Sydney, Australia
  • 1992 - Freiburg Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany
  • 1992 - Tate Gallery London, England
  • 1992 - Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA
  • 1996 - New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
  • 1997 - Elsewhere at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh
  • 1998 - 303 Gallery, New York
  • 1998 - Berlin Bienalle Berlin, Germany
  • 1999 - The Mirror's Edge, curated by Okwui Enwezor, Bild Museet, Umea, Nov 21, 1999 - Feb 20, 2000
  • 1999 - The Carnegie International, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
  • 1999 - Can you hear me? 2nd Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Art, Stadtgalerie im
  • 1999 - Sophienhof, Kiel (3 November - 12 December)
  • 1999 - Tunnel, Art Now 17, Tate Gallery, London
  • 2000 - Victoria Miro Gallery, London
  • 2000 - Monika Spruth Gallery, Cologne
  • 2000 - Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich
  • 2000 - Les rumeurs urbaines/Urban Rumours, FriArt, Fribourg
  • 2000 - La forma del mondo/la fine del mondo, Padiglione Arte Contemporanea, Milan
  • 2000 - Vision and Reality, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
  • 2000 - Perfidy, Convent of La Tourette, l'Arbresle, France
  • 2000 - Clip City/City Vision, Media City, Seoul, Korea
  • 2000 - The Age of Influence, MCA, Chicago
  • 2000 - Cross-Roads. Artists in Berlin, Sala Plaza de Espana de la Comunidad, Madrid
  • 2000 - Supermodel, Massachussets MoCA
  • 2000 - Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art, MoCA, San Diego/La Jolla
  • 2000 - Cartier Fondation pour l'Art Contemporain. Paris, France
  • 2001 - Televisions, Kunsthalle Wien
  • 2001 - Biennale de Lyon, Lyon
  • 2001 - Inside House, Orleans Museum of Fine Arts
  • 2001 - Trade, Fotomuseum Winterthur
  • 2001 - Public Offerings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • 2001 - Und keiner hinkt, Kunstmuseum Kleve
  • 2001 - Tempted to Pretend, Kunsthalle Kaufbeuren
  • 2001 - Tracking, CCAC, San Francisco
  • 2001 - Big Nothing, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
  • 2001 - Aspen Art Museum, Aspen
  • 2001 - Thomas Demand con Caruso St. John architetti, Galleria d'arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti, Florence
  • 2001 - De Appel, Amsterdam
  • 2001 - ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2001 - Report, Sprengel Museum, Hannover
  • 2001 - 303 Gallery, New York
  • 2001 - Sprengel Museum Hannover
  • 2002 - SITE Santa Fe
  • 2002 - Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 2002 - Castello di Rivoli, Turin
  • 2002 - Hof, Schipper & Krome, Berlin
  • 2002 - Screen Memories, Art Tower Mito, Contemporary Art Centre, Japan
  • 2002 - Balsam-Exhibiton der Fussballseele, Helmhaus, Zurich
  • 2002 - non places, Frankfurter Kunstverein
  • 2002 - In Szene gesetzt, Museum fur Neue Kunst, ZKM Karlsruhe
  • 2002 - Paarungen, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
  • 2003 - Berlin-Moskau/Moskau-Berlin, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin
  • 2003 - The Office, The Photographers' Gallery, London
  • 2003 - Adorno, Kunstverein Frankfurt, Frankfurt
  • 2003 - 50th Venice Biennale, Giardini, Venice
  • 2003 - Contemporary Collecting: New Art for Manchester, Manchester Art Gallery
  • 2003 - Archive and Simulation/I, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon
  • 2003 - La Photographie Allemande, Galerie Art & Public, Geneva
  • 2003 - Zeitgenossische Deutsche Fotografie, Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • 2003 - Re-Produktion, Galerie Georg Kargl, Vienna
  • 2003 - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
  • 2003 - Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2003 - Galeria Helga de Alvear, Madrid
  • 2003 - Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee
  • 2004 - German Pavillion, 26th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo
  • 2004 - Phototrophy, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz
  • 2004 - Vaerker og Dage. Nyerhvervelser i Louisianas samling 2000-2004, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
  • 2004 - Die Zehn Gebote, Dresdner Hygienemuseum, Dresden
  • 2004 - Sculptural Sphere, Martin Boyce, Thomas Demand, Mark Manders, Manfred Pernice, Liisa Roberts, Tom Sachs, Sammlung Goetz, Munich
  • 2004 - Berlin-Moskau/Moskau-Berlin, Staatliches Historisches Museum, Moscow
  • 2004 - Memory and Lanscape, La Casa Encendida, Madrid
  • 2004 - Bienal de Sao Paulo
  • 2005 - ArchiSKULPTUR, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
  • 2005 - After the Fact, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle
  • 2005 - Multiple Raume: Park, Kunsthalle Baden Baden
  • 2005 - Kunst und Pressebild nach 1945, Kunstmuseum Basel
  • 2005 - Paysages: Constructions and Simulations, Casino Luxembourg
  • 2005 - Victoria Miro Gallery, London
  • 2006 - Serpentine Gallery, London
  • 2006 - Esther Schipper, Berlin
  • 2006 - Max Beckmann and Thomas Demand, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
  • 2006 - Artes Mundi, Wales International Visual Art Prize, National Museum, Cardiff

Select Artwork

  • Fenster (Window) - 1998
  • Tunnel - 1999
  • Clearing - 2003
  • Five Drafts (Simulator) (03) - 2004
  • Gate - 2004
  • Diasec - 2006
  • Grotestques 32 & 53 - 2006

Quotes

  • "For me, it's about what happens in front of and behind the camera that requires my attention more than the camera itself."
  • "My sculptures are only imitations, dummies made up of things that carry enough symbols so as to be recognisable. I don't wish to be weighed down by objects."
  • "The photo that stands life-sized before me reflects what stood life-sized before the camera."
  • "You can walk around a sculpture as often as you like, and with photographs - mine are very large so that, as with the sculptures, you can also walk around them - you have a moment and my particular angle of vision."

Publications

  • Thomas Demand (Hardcover) - by Roxana Marcoci, Thomas Demand, Jeffrey Eugenides, Museum of Modern Art (March 2005)
  • Thomas Demand - by Marcella Beccaria, Skira (May 2, 2003)
  • Thomas Demand: Phototrophy - by Ralph Rugoff, Julia Franck, and Eckhard Scheinder, Schirmer/Mosel (February 28, 2005)

Quick Facts

  • Known for his immaculate photographs of environments elaborately constructed out of cardboard and paper
  • Demand's photographs eerily evoke a sterilised existence, and enable an elision of boundaries between the imagined and the real.

Keywords

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