Each of Thomas
Demandís 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 subjectís artificiality
into doubt. This confounding of references is such that the very idea of
an original recedes completely.
Thomas Demand, Fenster (Window), 1998, C-print and Diasec, 6 ft. 1/16 in. x 9 ft. 4 5/16 in. (183 x 286.5)
Thomas Demand ( installation view)
Thomas Demand responds to questions in the Artists of the Week section of this site.
Thomas Demand’s photographs have been shown in group exhibitions for nearly a decade. Recent shows include Ars Viva 1995, Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie, Dessau (1995); New Photography 12, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996); Positionen Künstlerischer Photographie in Deutschland Seit 1945, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Elsewhere, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Stills: Emerging Photography in the 1990s, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1997); être nature, Fondation Cartier pour l’art ontemporain, Paris (1998); and Anarchitecture, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, and Grosse Illusionen: Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Edward Ruscha, Kunstmuseum Bonn and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida (1999). Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented since 1991, including shows at Victoria Miro Gallery, London (1995, 1997) and 303 Gallery, New York (1998), and museum exhibitions at Centre d’art contemporain de Vassivière en Limousin, Beaumont-du-lac (1997); Kunst-halle Zürich and Kunsthalle Bielefeld (1998); and Tate Gallery, London (1999).
1989-92 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
1992 Cité des Arts, Paris
1993-94 Goldsmiths College, London, M.A.
1995 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam
Selected Further Reading
Tate Gallery, London. Artnow 17: Thomas Demand (1999). Exhibition brochure, text by Michela Parkin.
Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland, and Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany. Thomas Demand (1998). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Stuart Morgan and Bernhard Bürgi.
Galerie de l’ancienne Poste, Le Channel, and Centre d’art contemporain de Vassivière en Limousin, Beaumont-du-lac, France. Thomas Demand (1997). Exhibition catalogue, text by Joshua Decter.
Muniz, Vik, and Thomas Demand. “Notion of Space, A Conversation.” Blind Spot, no. 8 (fall/winter 1996): 30-37.