Tom Vack for Ron Arad, 1991, Double Soft Big Easy, 1991. Manufacturer: Moroso, Italy. © Tom Vack.
MUNICH.- The oeuvre of the photographer Tom Vack (*1948 Chicago) not only reads like a Who’s Who of the international design scene since the 1980s but also reflects its globalisation today. His photographs now take on an additional depth of meaning when presented against the backdrop of the permanent collection display at Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum Munich.
Creating enigmas and telling stories, imagination and nostalgia, the processual and the playful, deconstruction and a new historicism – postmodernism revolutionised not just architecture but also design and its pictorial strategies. The Alchimia studio, the Memphis group and their success created the need for a new language of photography, conveying a new concept of design and portraying the products borne from it in the process.
The American Tom Vack, whose path has led him from the United States to Italy, France and Germany, played a decisive role in these new forms of expression and communication. Tom Vack conveyed the work of renowned designers – like Michele De Lucchi, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad or Ingo Maurer – in photographs, which were mostly taken for journals or manufacturers’ catalogues.
Tom Vack’s creative beginnings fall under the golden age of postmodernism. He allowed factors such as naiveté and subconscious memories to be his guide, and he experiments with cinematic effects and strong effects of light and shade. ’I wanted to make an object in a picture rather than a picture of an object’ is his creative mindset. Vack has left the credo of classical object and product photography and creates expressive, atmospherically dense compositions that give a sense of their stories – subjective, dramatic, poetic.
Exhibition designer: Arch. Ester Pirotta, Milan. Lighting Consultant: Hagen Sczech, Munich.
Die Neue Sammlung will be publishing a newspaper featuring extensive background information relating to Vack’s work. The newspaper is available for free in the exhibition.