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Tom Fecht / Podgorny Robinson
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Born in the land of Hesse, Germany. 

Lives and works in Berlin and Geneva, his work is centered around his studio on the Atlantic coast in Brittany, France.

Tom Fecht jumpstarted his artistic career in 1992 at Jan Hoet's documenta IX. In the late 1990s he turned to photography as his preferred medium. Since then, he has created an extensive body of landscape and portrait work. Fecht is in particular known for his innovative seascape and night photography, capturing essential parts of the human environment often invisible to the naked eye.

The large-scale, minimalist works of his extensive night cycle Dark Matters includes series like Eclipse, Nocturnes and Gravity Fields often hovering between the physical world and the unseen aspects of the universe, magically transforming natural phenomena hidden in the depths of time. New works in color include the series Luciferines and Tides, both exploring the magic of marine bioluminescence captured Entre Loup et Chien at dawn. His most recent Studies of Ancient Light finally push his photographic experiments towards the edge of quantum physics, gradually drawing the eye towards environmental phenomena much larger and older than us.

Inspired by the Apollo missions and Kubrick's cult film 2001: Odyssey in Space (1968), Fecht studied physics, thermodynamics and cybernetics at Columbia University NYC. He went on to study engineering and art history at the Technical University of Berlin. As a young engineer, Fecht was involved in the development of fax machines and computer-assisted imaging at IBM. In the early 1970s, Fecht was among the first wave of artists to move into the rough industrial lofts of lower Manhattan. He engaged with the vibrant Land Art scene, including Walter de Maria, Mike Heizer and in particular Robert Smithson and followed up on these connections during Documenta 5 (1972) and 6 (1976). After a $5 job for Christo and Jeanne-Claude's adventurous Valley Curtain in Colorado, wordsmith Gene Solon encouraged him to mobilize his scientific background and to explore Land Art on his own. His early installations For Gravity's Sake (1971) or Spacetime Mirrors - The Lorentz Transformations, an intervention in the infinite corridor of MIT in Cambridge MA (1972), has been regarded as an early attempt to transfer Smithson's concept of site and non-site into the scientific realm.


Back in Berlin, he founded his own gallery including the Elefanten Press publishing house. Over the next two decades, Fecht worked as a gallery owner, exhibition designer, journalist, publisher, author, and editor, with a constant preoccupation with artistic, documentary, and historical photography becoming an integral part of his professional routine. When he finally gave up publishing to devote himself entirely to his artistic career, his early exploration of Land Art resurfaced two decades later with his memorial Mémoire nomade at documenta IX in 1992. The memorial of Names and Stones successively expanded over the next ten years in partnership with the German Aids Foundation into 40 permanent and temporary installations; today his European epitaph is regarded as the equivalent to the American Quilt Memorial. Dealing with love and death in this multi-layered work, Fecht refers to this transformative decade as his artistic ‘Street-Academy’ (1992 – 2002). 

In 1999, Fecht moved from Berlin to Paris-Montparnasse starting an intense period of experimental studio work which finally enabled him to 'spit out' all those images that had occupied his imagination over many years and accumulated in numerous sketchbooks. These included primarily body and movement studies, often in collaboration with choreographers, professional dancers and models from the Paris opera, ballet and the metropolitan music scene. He soon expanded his portfolio to land- and seascapes and refined his large-format photography, often supplemented by portrait work also including commissions the New York Times. A working residency in London finally expanded his artistic practice into high-tech and scientific imaging; Fecht has since developed his own photographic and technical patents and has taught at Cornell University NY, the Royal College of Art and the Imperial College in London, occasionally also lecturing at ETH Zurich.

Becoming a father in 2009 turned into a unique opportunity to finally re-evaluate his artistic work; by sacrificing daytime shooting to his young daughter his focus gradually shifted towards the magic of the night. Today he designs his own image machines continuously exploring the intersecting layers of three different chaotic systems: waves, weather and cosmic radiation captured in an alchemical mix of unpredictable phenomena. Here the waves of the open Atlantic, the permanent weather transformation from above and the cosmic and seasonal effects of planetary rotation merge into a systematic artistic approach. Although the human figure seems to have mostly vanished from these works, the more they seem to challenge the outdated conventions of an exclusively human scale. When it comes down to the thin red line that marries most of Fecht’s recent work among each other, the prime suspect is veiled in its very own magic: Gravity.

Since 2013, Fecht's works have been unique pieces, regularly presented at TEFAF in Maastricht and New York and featured in museum exhibitions and permanent collections. Among them the Neue National Galerie and the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Royal College of Art London, Museum DKM Duisburg, Museum Folkwang Essen, MuCEM Marseille, Helmhaus Zürich, Musée des Beaux-Arts LAAC Dunkerque, Musée des Beaux-Arts Liège and the photographic collection of the New York Public Library. In Switzerland, his work has been presented several times at Art Basel and Design Miami/Basel, as well as at the Helmhaus Zürich, also including his permanent installation EPITAPH at the Fraumünster Zurich; under the stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall in the aps. Today Fecht's works are represented in corporate and private collections in Europe, North America, Brazil and Asia.

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Works Available:

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Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Bonn, Germany
Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum Hagen, Germany
Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Bonn, Germany
MuCEM – Museé National des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée Marseille, France
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège, Belgium
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Museum DKM, Duisburg, Germany
Neue National Galerie / Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin (SMPK), Germany
New York Public Library NYC, USA



LUCIFERs VORTEX – Unique Vintage Prints
Laffanour Galerie DOWNTOWN, Paris (FR)


Tom Fecht and Nicole Stäglich
Galerie Elle Suvretta House, St. Moritz (CH)


Hugo Franca meets Tom Fecht #2
Galerie Bolsa de Arte, Proto Alegre (BR) 


Tom Fecht and Nicole Stäglich
Galerie Elle, Zürich (CH) 


Group Show
Museum DKM, Duisburg (DE)


Unique vintage prints curated by Rudolf Zwirner and Hubertus von Amelunxen
GRUNEWALDER EXHIBITIONS Conversations and Concerts


Night Photography
Museum DKM, Duisburg (DE)


The Blue Hour, Photographic Installation
The West Pole Series
FOG Design + Art, San Francisco USA
Galeria Mercado Moderno, Rio de Janeiro (BR)


Unique Vintage Prints
Laffanour Galerie DOWNTOWN Paris (FR)


Contemporary Photography by Elisabeth Brockmann, Peter von Felbert, Jens Heilmann,
Tom Fecht, Achim Graf, Florian Thomas


APLOMB – Hugo Franca meets Tom Fecht
Unique Silk Prints and Sculpture curated by Mirian Badaro
GALLERIE BOLSA DE ARTE, Saõ Paulo and Porto Allegre (BR)


Retrospective curated by Wim Mellis
Martini Plaza, Groningen (NE)


Unique Vintage Prints


Permanent Installation at Museum DKM, Duisburg (D)


TEFAF Maastricht and New York
Laffanour Gallery DOWNTOWN, Paris (F)


The complete series  presented by
Galerie Laffanour DOWNTOWN Paris
Chateâu Siran, Bordeaux (F)


Setareh Gallery, Düsseldorf (D)


Museum DKM, Duisburg (D)


Laffanour Gallery DOWNTOWN, Paris (F)


Château Palmer, Margaux 2016 (F)


Collection François Laffanour
La Patinoire Royale, Brussels (BE)


Entre 6 & 8
Galerie Saluden, Quimper (F)

Downtown @ Monaco

Colombia Gallery, Monaco



Curated by Jean Attali
Musée des Beaux-Arts LAAC, Dunkerque (F) 

Galerie Downtown Paris (F)

MAGIC DIVAN – A portrait of Daniel Barenboim
and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Installation for “An Ocean of Possibilities”
at Noorderlicht Photofestival Groningen (NE)
and Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF)

The Water Line – Video installation for “The Politics and Pleasures of Food”
funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, ACC Galerie Weimar (D)

Surface tension – An accidental meeting of ocean and slaughterhouse (with J. Zissovici).

ENSA École nationale d’architecture Malaquais. Galerie J. Callot, Paris (F)

Equilibre Les Vivres de l’Art / Fondation du Patrimoine.
Photo installation in the former slaughterhouse of Bordeaux, (F)


Trait pour trait – Autoportraits
Galerie Saluden, Quimper (F)


Land’s end – Photographies
Galerie Saluden, Quimper (F)


Galerie Gisèle Linder, Basel (CH)

Ma couleur préférée
Galerie Gisèle Linder, Basel (CH)


Names and Stones – Cold Square
New installation for the Art and Exhibition Hall
of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn 1993 / 2008 (D)

Fotografie – On Landscape
Galerie Schöneck, Basel (CH)

Unstern Sinistre Disastro – 7 Studies on Gravity
ACC Galerie, Weimar (D)

London Confidential – The Chinese Suite
Galerie Mews42 / Vanessa Suchar, London (UK)


All Under One Heaven – The Chinese Suite
Royal College of Art, London /(UK)

Finis Terrae – Seascapes and Photo-Glasses
Galerie Downtown, Paris (F)

Portraiture – The Chinese Suite
Eyestorm Gallery, London (UK)

Rendez-Vous – La Nouvelle Athènes. Seascapes.
Gallery Vanessa Suchar, Paris (F)


Namaste – Land and Seascapes.
Gallery Vanessa Suchar, London (F)


Cause and Effect – The Dust of Childhood.
Hartwell Gallery / Cornell University, NY

Movement Into the Open – Seascapes
Ahorn Grieneisen AG, Berlin (D)


Transformation – Seascapes
Art Home Gallery, Istanbul (TUR)

Silent Images – Photographs and Works on Paper
Ahorn Grieneisen AG, Berlin (D)

Food For Thought: An Evening with Siegfried Zielinski.
Performance at V2 Dutch Electronic Art Fair, Rotterdam (NE)


BASICS – Uniques Verres Photographiques
Galerie François Laffanour DOWNTOWN, Paris (F) (Catalog)

Torso – Cité des Sciences, Paris (F)


Approaching the Unpredictable – Paper Art 8. Milk Skin (Milchhaut).
Installation at Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren (D) (Catalog)


En Face – Gisèle Freund photographed by Tom Fecht.
Martin Gropius Bau – Werkbund Archiv / Museum der Dinge, Berlin (D) (Catalog)

Sense of Space – Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen (NE) (Catalog)


Homage – Galerie Nina Beskow, Paris Photo (F)

Kaltes Tor (Names and Stones)
Commission for EXPO 2000, Hanover (D)


Anatomie de la Tendresse – Portrait Studies
Galerie François Laffanour DOWNTOWN, Paris (F)

Wonderland – Norderlicht Fotofestival
Curated by Wim Mellis and Machiel Botman, Groningen

Kunst auf Zeit – Group Show
Künstlerhaus Berlin, Berlin (D)

Mémoire nomade (NAMES and STONES) Urban Land Art Project 1992 – 2002.
Pan-European epitaph comprised of permanent and temporary installations
in major museums and public places across 40 cities curated by Ulrich Heide.
In collaboration with the German AIDS-Foundation, Bonn (D)


NAMES and STONES, Documenta IX (curated by Jan Hoet) Kassel (D)


DENKRAUM – Studies of an Endangered Body
in collaboration with the German AIDS Foundation and the
Berlin Doctors’ Council. Deutscher Reichstag, Berlin (D)

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