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Sidewall, Efeu/Ivy, 2006

This is a Sidewall. It is dated 2006 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is machine-printed paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Ivy was inspired by a series of photographs documenting the life cycle of the Klause Tavern in Germany, a building where the abuse and murder of a little boy may or may not have taken place. One of the few continuities running throughout this series of photos was the ivy growing on the building. Ivy was designed by Thomas Demand and produced by the Anstey Wallpaper Company in Loughborough, England. The paper was roller printed in a limited quantity on 100-year-old printing machines.
Demand is an internationally known photographer from Germany who has a unique approach to his work. Although the imagery in his photographs appears to be real, it is actually a recreation of a scene using torn paper and cardboard. Demand usually works with an image culled from the media and then reconstructs the scene in a life-size three-dimensional format. His reconstructions are very detailed—he even simulates the texture of the source materials. Demand’s work challenges the notion of photography as being an unbiased glimpse of reality. Things are not what they seem in Demand’s work. After the model is photographed, the paper and cardboard is destroyed.
Demand studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and at Goldsmiths College in London. He originally studied sculpture and later pursued photography. In 1993, he began joining these two media by constructing the scenes he wished to photograph. Many of the images Demand chooses to recreate and capture in his photographs are of violent or grim situations. Acts of violence, however, are absent. The images may initially appear innocent, but there is usually a darker side. Demand’s photographs are held by museum collections including the Guggenheim, the Tate Gallery and the Carnegie Museum of Art
Collecting papers designed by contemporary artists is an area of collection priority. Other wallpapers designed by internationally known photographers include those by William Wegman and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Acquiring Ivy would keep the museum’s collection of artist-designed papers current.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Not So Innocent Foliage Pattern.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

Overall: 1000 x 52 cm (32 ft. 9 11/16 in. x 20 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, Efeu/Ivy, 2006; England; machine-printed paper; Overall: 1000 x 52 cm (32 ft. 9 11/16 in. x 20 1/2 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2007-19-1

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Sidewall, Efeu/Ivy, 2006 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>