Known for his immaculate photographs of environments elaborately constructed out of cardboard and paper, Thomas Demand draws on source material from historical, political, and media images. The resulting work divests the photographic images of obvious referents, reducing the real to a generic form and leaving in its path a certain tension between the uneasy, institutional blankness of each photograph and the loaded cultural background that often informs it. Highly stylized and subversive, Mr. Demand’s photographs eerily evoke a sterilized existence and enable an elision of boundaries between the imagined and the real.
Born in Munich in 1964, Mr. Demand attended the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, the Düsseldorf Art Academy, and Goldsmiths’ College in London. Mr. Demand represented Germany at the 2004 São Paulo Biennale, and his work was the subject of a midcareer retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York—the first single-person show following the reopening of the museum in 2005. In 2006 the Serpentine Gallery in London also featured a major mid-career retrospective on Mr. Demand. As part of a special project by the Fondazione Prada ArtForum, Mr. Demand’s work Processo Grottesco was featured at San Giorgio Maggiore Island in Venice this year. He currently lives and works in Berlin.
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