Thomas Hirschhorn

b. 1957, Bern, Switzerland. Lives and works in Paris.


Thomas Hirschhorn



Widely regarded as a leading artist of his generation, Thomas Hirschhorn is a Swiss artist who is best known for his expansive DIY works that engage with critical theory, global politics and consumerism. Using commonplace materials – cardboard, plastic sheeting, packing tape, aluminium foil –combined with newspaper and magazine cuttings, mannequins, furniture and an array of other objects, he challenges viewers to navigate spaces overflowing with the artifacts of consumption. Through his aesthetic of destruction and ruin, he has established an expansive but distinctive visual language with which he creates provocative artworks steeped in political commentary.

Next to his large sculptural works and installations, Hirschhorn is known for his collages, which he perceives as a way of expressing the fragmented world that we live in. His earlier collages provide a logical precursor to his later installations which he has frequently referred to as "collages in the third dimension’’. Hirschhorn’s collages combine advertising imagery with jarring depictions of war's extreme brutality, overlaying them with his handwritten textual commentary and streaks of red and green ink. The resulting artworks are concerned with issues of power and moral responsibility, grappling with the excess of information in daily life.