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Institut für
Kunstdokumentation und

Thomas Demand

Our archive contains a film documentation of the exhibition THOMAS DEMAND - MODEL STUDIES at the Raketenstation Neuss in 2015.

With Modellstudien, the Insel Hombroich Foundation presents its first solo show of works by a contemporary artist. At the Siza Pavilion at the Raketenstation Hombroich, Thomas Demand is showing a selection from his new Model Studies series.

In his large-scale close-up photographs of models made by the influential Japanese architects SANAA and the American architect John Lautner, Demand guides our vision to the details. The material characteristics, the state and the way the models have been made are the defining features of the artist’s nigh-abstract compositions. Inscriptions, marks of wear and tear and the impression of sculptural depth evoked by the incident light are occasional reminders that these are images of architectural models.

The series came about in the course of Thomas Demand’s working dialogue with architecture. It was in 2011, during a stay at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, that he stumbled on John Lautner’s models. The works that Demand completed under that influence were represented in a small selection at the 13th Biennale of Architecture in Venice in 2012. John Lautner became known above all for his spectacular residential houses in greater Los Angeles, not least by their entering cinema history as locations (Diamonds Are Forever, Charlie’s Angels, The Big Lebowski). For the past three years, Demand has also been creating a record of models being made at SANAA, the office of architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryūe Nishizawa. They have been formative for a number of years in the debate as to how art spaces should be designed, with solutions such as the building for the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Ishikawa or the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York as cases in point. Both, Lautner’s models and those of the SANAA office were and are made chiefly as part of the process of project development and have the function and the importance usually given to the drawing or sketch. Thus they are not properly display models for clients or exhibitions, but an essential part of the process by which a design comes about.


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