Thomas Wrede

In his earlier work the German artist Thomas Wrede ( b 1963) confronts the viewer with different and at the same time familiar „landscapes". Working in different series his "Domestic Landscapes" are a collection of images of photographic wallpaper in different German domestic households, representing a kind of collective "ideal dream memory" – the perfect mountain landscape, exotic beaches, Manhattan etc. Wrede's series "Magic Worlds", for which he won many different awards (e.g. DG Bank Award 1997) deals with photographing empty German Fun Fairs and Parks. In "Picture Worlds" Wrede photographed New York, where Billboards and Commercials, wallpaper the city anew. In "Small Worlds", Wrede used a large format camera, working with different Focal points to create images that look like miniature models of trucks, ships, tanks and fake landscapes.

Wrede's work deal with the many different layers of perception and different sociological associations, with the image within the image, or with supposed reality in relation to created artificiality. Wrede asks questions about landscape and its imagery, often where painting is the beginning trajectory. Reality and artificiality, humour and sobriety, knowledge and presentiment and individual lives, are complexly woven structures in one image.

As much as Wrede's work amuses and has a sense of humour, they are also deeply critical images of society and its constructed theories. Concurrently each image in itself has a graphic power that one cannot forget easily.

Another important aspect of Thomas Wrede's work, which gives it its own unique quality, is the use of purely analogue photography. He trusts purely in the interaction of the models, the landscape and his own capability of staging this photographically. It is important to Wrede that on very close inspection, the viewer will find clues or traces of Wrede's staging. Often, upon longer contemplation of an image, one can find Wrede's thumb or even a footprint, or bits of beach debris, which lets Wrede's created illusion come tumbling down quickly.

Fundamentally, Thomas Wrede is searching for a light-hearted game with the viewer. It is the constant movement between the quintessential trust and the irritation caused by Wrede's fractures of the reality promise of photography that make this work so interesting.

Thomas Wrede studied at the art academy in Münster. He received numerous awards and scholarships e.g. Karl Hofer Preis, DG Bank Preis 1997, Fotografiepreis Wiesbaden 2002,
His work has been shown in many solo and group museum shows in Germany, Europe and the US. Thomas Wrede is one of the German shooting stars in the US.

Works from the Artist

See all works from the series:

  • Real landscapes
  • Smallworld
  • Seascapes
  • Domestic Landscapes