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Thomas Demand



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Thomas Demand’s artistic practice challenges traditional boundaries between sculpture and photography. Originally trained as a sculptor, Demand creates large-scale photographs by taking existing images—typically popular media photographs—and rebuilding the scenes they depict as three-dimensional paper models, then photographing the rebuilt scenes. The artist then destroys the models, which are life size and, minus some details, true to the original: the photographs constitute the final work. By basing his photographs on ephemeral paper sculptures, Demand destabilizes the indexical aspect of photography or, rather, questions whether it was ever stable to begin with. The scene depicted in Shed alludes to the arrest of Bernardo Provenzano, one of Italy’s most infamous Mafia heads, who was captured in a derelict shed near Corleone, Sicily. Until his capture in 2006, Provenzano had lived underground for over forty years. His absence (as a missing suspect) and presence (as a notorious criminal) had grown over the years, like a phantom haunting Italian society. Demand visualizes this phantom-like presence by focusing on the banal aspects of Provenzano’s life in hiding. [Exhibition brochure text, 2013]

  • Artist Thomas Demand (German, b. 1964)
  • Title Shed
  • Date 2006
  • Medium Chromogenic color print on a Diasec mount
  • Edition description 5/6
  • Dimensions unframed | 78 3/4 x 69 3/4 in.
  • Credit line University purchase with funds from the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation, 2011
  • Object number WU 2011.0002

Contemporary German Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/03/2013 - 09/07/2013

Precarious Worlds: Contemporary Art from Germany
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/09/2011 - 01/09/2012

Viaggio in Italia
Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive Contemporanee (Pistoia, Italy), 11/13/2010 - 01/30/2011

La carte d'après nature
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (Monaco), 09/18/2010 - 01/16/2011

Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, Germany), 05/22/2010 - 08/22/2010

Slash: Paper Under the Knife
Museum of Art and Design (New York, New York), 09/18/2009 - 04/04/2010

Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin, Germany), 09/18/2009 - 01/17/2010

Thomas Demand: Werkensemble
Neues Museum Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, (Nürnberg, Germany), 02/18/2008 - 07/01/2008

Thomas Demand
Regen Projects, 10/21/2006 - 11/25/2006

Purchased from Sprüth Magers (Berlin, Germany); Purchased with funds from James M. Kemper Jr. (Kansas City, MO)

This artwork record may be incomplete or need refinement. Our staff actively researches the collection and revises records when new information is available. If you have questions or comments about this record, please contact us.