Thomas Demand: ‘Latent Forms’ at Spurth Magers London (13 Oct -19 Dec 2015) Review

Thomas Demand: ‘Latent Forms’ at Spurth Magers London (13 Oct -19 Dec 2015)

Review

The usually bright white space of Spurth Magers London has been transformed from ‘white cube’ to a old movie theatre like space, the walls covered in a gridded, dark brown wall paper, darkening the space despite the large window that covers the length of one wall in the first room of the gallery. The bright white frames of the work and the pieces within them contrast with this changed space, lit with spotlights, seem to bring them forward from the wall. The monochrome images show close ups of careful folds in paper, layers of crisp white cut outs. Demand’s photographs are documentations of process, the working processes of Tokyo architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. The shadows and angles of the paper become formal, minimalist and textual, affiliating with modernist abstraction.

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Thomas Demand, “Latent Forms” installation views at Sprüth Magers, London, 2015 

The focus of the images becomes the curves, folds, lines and shadows; the curation of the image intensifies its abstractness, the forms becoming unclear. Architectural models are used to represent potential structures, possibilities of forms, Demand’s photographs intensifies this there elegance suggests a utopian space, clinical and pristine. The photographs transform the architectural structures into the illustrative domain; the emphasis becomes the detail, the composition over the object. Demand plays with formal qualities differing to those of the models, opening up a virtual space its white surface a screen for projecting our own reality, a hollow suite for us to loose ourselves in.

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Thomas Demand, “Latent Forms” installation views at Sprüth Magers, London, 2015

The layers to the installation, the object (not shown yet present), the images and the wallpaper add to theme of surface and abstraction. Bringing the everyday into the piece the brown wallpaper eludes to packing paper, like that, which in cases packs of white ‘drawing’ paper used by the architects. This use of tompe-l’oeil ‘…expand the questions raised not only buy the photographs in Latent Forms but the history of abstraction itself: how we navigate surface and depth, exterior and interior, illusion and experience, depiction and interpretation.’ –Crig Burnett

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