08.11.2014 – 25.01.2015

Tom Vack. Vanity of Object

Photography meets design.
Exhibition, Tom Vack. Vanity of Object, 2014.
Photo: Patrizia Hamm

About the Exhibition

The oeuvre of Tom Vack 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.

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 born from it in the process.

The photographer Tom Vack (born 1948 in Chicago), 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 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.

An exhibition of Die Neue Sammlung – in collaboration with Tom Vack (exhibition concept)

Exhibition designer: Arch. Ester Pirotta, Milan
Lighting Consultant: Hagen Sczech, Munich

Video statement by Tom Vack on his exhibition:
bangertprojects / © Die Neue Sammlung

Plan a visit


Barer Straße 40, 80333 Munich

Opening hours:

Daily 10:00 – 18:00

Monday closed

Thursday 10:00 – 20:00

View into a darkened room. At the end of the room hangs a lamp with a warm white light. Next to it seems to be a window with blue panes of glass. High-quality photographs are displayed on the walls. They show other illuminated objects.
View on the Exhibition, Tom Vack. Vanity of Object, 2014.
Photo: Patrizia Hamm
In a white exhibition room with an illuminated box ceiling, a black square of partition walls has moved in. On the walls there are high-contrast and high-quality photographs of design objects.
View into the Exhibition, Tom Vack. Vanity of Object, 2014.
Photo: Patrizia Hamm

A Poster to the Exhibiton


Supported by:

PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V.
Magis S.p.A.