Frank Thiel

Year of birth, place
1966, Kleinmachnow, Germany
Role at the ZKM
in the collection
Frank Thiel was born in Kleinmachnow near Berlin in 1966. In 1985 he moved to Berlin, where he trained (1987-89) as a photographer at the Lette-Verein. He has received numerous prizes and awards for his work, including the 'Förderpreis der Helmut-Kraft-Stiftung in Stuttgart' (1995) and a grant from the Berlin Kultursenat (1996). Thiel lives in Berlin.

Thiel finds most of the motifs for his work as a photographer in Berlin and its immediate surroundings. In the years 1989-90 he produced several series of images of the Berlin Wall, his »Mauerbilder«, recording the alteration in its appearance in the context of the different city districts and in the course of time after the opening of the wall. These pictures, together with images of monuments in East Berlin and Potsdam, are rendered in a style dependant on processing the photographs so as to achieve blurred black outlines and fractures within the picture space, over-exposed areas of brighter illumination and often a fragmentation of the principal motifs, between which buildings, the figures of soldiers or monuments all appear to float. In Thiel's 'Allies Series' (»Alliierten-Serie«) of 1990-91, the 'Pregnant Women Series' (»Schwangere- Frauen-Serie«) of 1991-92 and the 'Prison Gates' (»Gefängnistore«), on the other hand, the principal motif is emphatically present, indeed almost obtrusively dominant, though it is recorded by Thiel with a coolly distanced eye. In the series 'The Berlin of the Building Sites' (»Berlin der Baustellen«), on which he embarked in 1995, this monumentalizing approach is continued. Thiel captures the distinctive mid-1990s character of the centre of Berlin, scattered with building sites, and achieves compelling, symmetrically arranged colour photographs of considerable technical precision. 

​Individual exhibitions (selection)

1991 Galerie Zellermayer, Berlin; Art Cologne, Förderkoje, Cologne
1992 Galerie Zellermayer, Berlin
1993 Modulo, Lisbon; Galerie Zellermayer, Berlin
1995 »Gefängnistore«, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal; Galerie Lutz Teutloff, Cologne
1995 Galerie Condé, Goethe-Institut, Paris, subsequently at Centre Culturel Le Parvis, Tarbes; Goethe-Institut, Brussels
1996 Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg; Galerie Michael Fuchs, Berlin
1997 »Statements«, Galerie Michael Fuchs, Kunstmesse, Basle
Group exhibitions (selection)
1990 »Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie«, Arles
1991 »Panorama des Panoramas«, Centre National de la Photographie, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; »Interferenzen - Kunst aus Westberlin 1960-1990«, Nationales Kunstmuseum Riga, subsequently at Manège, Saint Petersburg; »Neue Aspekte«, Photographische Sammlung der Berlinischen Galerie, Museum für
Moderne Kunst, Photographie und Architektur, Berlin
1992 »Einsamkeit - A German Sensation«, Monasterio de Veruela, Veruela, subsequently at Fundació »la Caixa«, Madrid and Barcelona; Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca; »Humpty Dumpty's Kaleidoscope - A New Generation of German Artists«, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1993 »Jahreslabor«, Photographische Sammlung der Berlinischen Galerie, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Photographie und Architektur, Berlin; »Emigration - Bilder von Abschied, Reise und Tod«, Galerie Mosel und Tschechow, Munich
1994 »diario«, Museu de Arte Moderne, Rio de Janeiro, subsequently at Galerie Hohenthal und Bergen, Cologne; »The Day After Tomorrow«, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon; »Internationale Photographie '94«, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal; »Da-Zwischen«, Kunstsammlung Gera; subsequently at Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; Charlemagne, Brussels
1996 »Noch nie gezeigt«, Berlinische Galerie, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Photographie und Architektur, Berlin; »Förderpreis 'Junge Kunst' der Saar Ferngas AG«, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen

[Frauke Syamken, 1997]