Thomas Demand

1964 -

Thomas Demand studied sculpture at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. In 1994 he received his MA Fine Arts from Goldsmith‘s College, London.                

Thomas Demand is known for his large-scale photographs, which explore the slippage between reality and fiction. Demand begins his research for every new work by selecting a pre-existing photograph from various sources; the media, history books or from Demand’s own family archive. The artist usually studies the photograph for some time and he often attempts to find out who the photographer is and searches for other related images. He then builds, in his studio, a three-dimensional, life-sized model based on the photograph. The model is made solely out of cardboard and paper. When the model is finished, Demand photographs it. The model exists only to be photographed, as it is destroyed afterward. Demand then exhibits, as his work, a large-scale photograph of the model. In the course of his practice, the artist invites us to understand what we are looking at, and in turn to become conscious of our process of understanding.

Thomas Demand has had solo exhibitions at such prestigious institutions as Lennbachhaus, Munich, 2003; Castelo de Rivoli, Turin, 2003; and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2001. His work has been included in many group exhibitions as: Venice Biennale 2003, Venice; Mirror’s Edge, BildMuseet, Umeå, Sweden, 2000; Carnegie International 1999/2000, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Open Ends, 2000, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Thomas Demand’s work is in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim, New York and Tate, London.

He currently lives and works in Berlin. 

Thomas Demand

Birth name

Thomas Demand


Born in Munich, Germany, 1964




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I live and work in Berlin (0 min 28 sec)

The end result is a photograph of a sculpture (0 min 23 sec)

I combine sculpture and photography (0 min 34 sec)

I became a visual artist (0 min 18 sec)

I work with paper (0 min 45 sec)

I am trying to understand how things are constructed (0 min 38 sec)

Fact or Fiction (1 min 11 sec)

I keep visible traces of the making (0 min 55 sec)

The Space Simulator (2 min 54 sec)

A recast of my studio (0 min 50 sec)

My choice of colour (1 min 2 sec)

The influence of Duchamp (0 min 39 sec)

I am interested in Minimal art (1 min 31 sec)

The importance of time (1 min 43 sec)

Titles in my work (1 min 10 sec)

Photography and objects (0 min 54 sec)

Sound and the other senses (1 min 7 sec)

I make it imperfect in order to be beautiful (1 min 13 sec)

The media is my landscape (1 min 50 sec)

I think there is certain element of alienation in my works (2 min 38 sec)

The role of modernism (1 min 44 sec)

New technology (2 min 8 sec)

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