Caruso St. John with Thomas Demand and Hélène Binet

London, United Kingdom; Zurich, Switzerland; Berlin, Germany

Since its foundation in 1990, Caruso St John has been pursuing an architecture that is rooted in place. The practice resists the thin-skinned abstraction that characterises much global architecture in favour of buildings that are perceived slowly over time and that have an emotional content. Its work is enriched by an on-going dialogue with the European city and with history — that of architecture, art, and culture more widely.

The practice rose to prominence with the acclaimed New Art Gallery Walsall, completed in 2000. Many cultural sector commissions have followed, including the Millbank Project for Tate Britain, a suite of commercial galleries for Gagosian, and Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in London for which the practice was awarded the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize. The practice has offices in London and Zurich, and now works on a wide range of projects, both public and commercial.

Thomas Demand studied with the sculptor Fritz Schwegler, who encouraged him to explore the expressive possibilities of architectural models at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where Bernd and Hilla Becher had recently taught photographers such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Candida Höfer. Like those artists, Demand makes mural-scale photographs, but instead of finding his subject matter in landscapes, buildings, and crowds, he uses paper and cardboard to reconstruct scenes he finds in images taken from various media sources. Once he has photographed his re-created environments—always devoid of figures but often displaying evidence of recent human activity—Demand destroys his models, further complicating the relationship between reproduction and original that his photography investigates.

Demand (born 1964) has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and he has represented Germany at the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de São Paulo. Demand is currently based in Los Angeles.

Courtesy of Caruso St. John