Thomas Demand | Solo Show
Demand is best known for his photographs of full-scale paper and cardboard reconstructions based on images taken from the news media or from sights that capture his attention.
Backyard depicts the home of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as it appeared in a news photo. Demand has left out Tsarnaev’s wife, choosing to depict only the small litter-strewn yard and the concrete walkway leading to her vinyl-sided house. In the background, a cherry tree in full bloom interrupts the otherwise mundane setting.
In the related Bloom, a thirteen-foot-long photograph of cherry blossoms, Demand focuses on the background of the previous image, further complicating the relationship between the depicted image and its source.
Another work, Sidegate, depicts an entrance to the Cerritos, California, home of the incendiary filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Instead of working from found images, Demand based both of these photographs entirely on his own site-based research.
For another work, Atelier, Demand has reconstructed a portion of Henri Matisse’s studio at the Hotel Régina in Nice, where the late artist made his famous cut-outs. The artist himself is absent, although the scraps of colored paper strewn on the floor indicate his recent activity.
Also included in this exhibition is a new series of photographs of architectural models at the firm SANAA. These works expand on Demand’s Model Studies series, begun in 2011, which presents details of architect John Lautner’s models.
Unlike the meticulous paper constructions Demand creates in his own studio, the SANAA photographs reveal the architects’ crumpled paper and tape creations, further abstracted by the tight angle of Demand’s camera.