Born in 1964 in Munich, Thomas Demand is a German artist known for his large-scale photographs, depicting motives from mass-media images or from his personal archive reconstructed in life size from paper and cardboard. Through his work, he strives to overturn the notion of photography as an inevitably objective or truthful medium, exploring the gap between reality and its representation. Demand grew up in Munich and, from 1987 to 1992, attended both the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the Düsseldorf Art Academy before receiving a master’s degree in fine arts from Goldsmiths’ College in 1994 in London. He initially focused on sculpture, using photography to document his paper and cardboard reconstructions. In 1990, however, photography and sculpture traded places in his artistic process; the photograph became the artwork.
Many of his works impart an architectural understanding of spaces, and his interest in architecture and models let to various collaborations with architects such as Caruso St. John, David Chipperfield, Rem Koolhaas and SANAA either in relation to the architects pratice, questions of installation or for actual architectural projects. Demand showed his work at major museums and galleries worldwide. His solo exhibitions include shows at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2016), DHC Art Center, Montréal (2013), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2012), the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2012), Kaldor
Public Arts Project #25, Sydney (2012), Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2009), MUMOK, Vienna (2009), the Fondazione Prada, Venice (2007), the Serpentine Gallery, London (2006), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005) the Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004) and a survey at the Fondation Cartier in Paris (2001). He represented Germany at the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale (2004). His most recent project was the widely acclaimed exhibition “The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.”, with Alexander Kluge and Anna Viebrock at Fondazione Prada in Venice. His work also was included in 4 iterations of the Venice Architecture Biennale and recently featured at the 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennale.
On several occasions, he curated shows, including ‘L’Image Volée’ at the Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016), ‘Model Studies’ at the Graham Foundation, Chicago (2013), ‘La carte d’après nature’ at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (2010) and a contribution to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale ‘Common Ground’ (2012).
His work is represented in numerous museums and collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Guggenheim Museum, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Tate Modern, London.
He lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles.