Master of Illusion

Thomas Demand at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

According to the ancient Greeks, the origins of paintings are firmly placed in tricking the viewer about reality. Thomas Demand’s work takes that a step further. His faultless recreations in card and paper of the most banal elements of everyday life lie somewhere between ephemeral sculpture and photography—he destroys all his sets after their creation. A new retrospective at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin focuses on his relationship with his native Germany. From among muffled, floating curtains emerge images that reflect the role of media, violence and politics in modern Germany.

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