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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. In recent years, Fecht has become known for his innovative night photography and seascapes, focusing on natural phenomena hidden in time and often invisible to the naked eye. 

The large-scale, minimalist works of his extensive night cycle Dark Matters includes series like Eclipse and Gravity Fields often hovering between the physical world and the unseen aspects of the universe, magically transforming natural phenomena in the depths of time. The series Incertitudes, Cosmic Vertigo and his most recent micrographs Studies of Ancient Light apply advanced microscopic imaging, pushing his photographic experiments towards the edge of quantum physics. Current color work explores marine bioluminescence captured Entre Loup et Chien at dawn, recently shown at Galerie Rudolf Zwirner in Berlin. 

Inspired by the Apollo missions and Kubrick’s cult film 2001: A Space Odyssey (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-aided image processing at IBM and Control Data. In the early 1970s, Fecht was among the first wave of artists to move into the rough industrial lofts of lower Manhattan. He soon engaged with the vibrant Land Art scene, including Walter de Maria, Mike Heizer, and especially 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 in 1972, wordsmith Gene Solon encouraged him to mobilise his scientific background and to explore Land Art on his own terms. His early installations  For Gravity’s Sake (1971) or Spacetime Mirrors – The Lorentz Transformations, an intervention at the ‘infinite corridor’ of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in Cambridge MA (1972), has been regarded as an artistic challenge to chaotic systems and 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 and 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. This memorial of Names and Stones in partnership with the German Aids Foundation successively expanded into over 40 permanent and temporary installations. Transforming into a European network of local memorials over the next decade, his geographically expansive epitaph anchored itself in contemporary urban mourning culture. Still active and expanding by annual additions of Name-Stones to public and museum installations over the past 30 years, his memorial is regarded today as the European equivalent to the American Quilt Memorial. Fecht refers to this transformative decade 1992 – 2002 as his artistic Street-Academy’, dealing with death in a multi-layered work.

In 1999, Fecht moved from Berlin to Paris-Montparnasse and began an intense period of experimental studio work in which he was finally able 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 music scenes. He soon expanded his portfolio to land- and seascapes and refined his large-format photography; often supplemented by portrait commissions also including 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 Imperial College in London, occasionally also lecturing at ETH Zurich. 

Today he designs his own image machines continuously exploring the intersecting layers of three very different chaotic systems: waves, weather and cosmic radiation captured in an alchemical mix of unpredictable phenomena. The waves of the open Atlantic, the permanent weather transformation above and the seasonal and cosmic effects of planetary rotation merge into a systematic artistic approach, gradually drawing the eye towards phenomena much larger and older than us. When it comes down to the thin red line that marries most of Fecht’s recent work, the prime suspect is veiled in its very own magic: gravity.

Since 2012-2013, Tom 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 are 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, Musée des Beaux-Arts LAAC Dunkerque, Musée des Beaux-Arts Liège and the photographic collection of the New York Public Library. Fecht’s works are represented in numerous corporate and private collections in Europe, North America, Brazil and Asia. In Switzerland, his work has been presented several times at Art Basel and Design Miami/Basel, also including the Helmhaus and his permanent installation EPITAPH III – Names and Stones at the Fraumünster in Zurich; under the apse with its stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall.

Tom Fecht was born in the land of Hesse, Germany and lives and works in Berlin and Geneva, his work is centred around his studio on the Atlantic coast in Brittany, France.

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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 2016 (BE)


Entre 6 & 8
Galerie Saluden, Quimper 2015 (F)

Downtown @ Monaco
Colombia Gallery, Monaco 2015


Curated by Jean Attali
Musée des Beaux-Arts LAAC, Dunkerque 2014 (F)

Galerie Downtown Paris, 2014 (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), 2014

The Water Line – Video installation for “The Politics and Pleasures of Food”
funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, ACC Galerie Weimar, 2014 (D)

Surface tension – An accidental meeting of ocean and slaughterhouse (with J. Zissovici).
ENSA École nationale d’architecture Malaquais. Galerie J. Callot, Paris 2013 (F)

Equilibre Les Vivres de l’Art / Fondation du Patrimoine.
Photo installation in the former slaughterhouse of Bordeaux, 2013 (F)

Trait pour trait – Autoportraits
Galerie Saluden, Quimper 2012 (F)

Land’s end – Photographies
Galerie Saluden, Quimper 2010 (F)

Galerie Gisèle Linder, Basel 2009 (CH)

Ma couleur préférée
Galerie Gisèle Linder, Basel 2009 (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 2008 (CH)

Unstern Sinistre Disastro – 7 Studies on Gravity
ACC Galerie, Weimar 2008 (D)

London Confidential – The Chinese Suite
Galerie Mews42 / Vanessa Suchar, London 2008 (UK)

All Under One Heaven – The Chinese Suite
Royal College of Art, London 2007 /(UK)

Finis Terrae – Seascapes and Photo-Glasses
Galerie Downtown, Paris 2007 (F)

Portraiture – The Chinese Suite
Eyestorm Gallery, London 2007 (UK)

Rendez-Vous – La Nouvelle Athènes. Seascapes.
Gallery Vanessa Suchar, Paris 2007 (F)

Namaste – Land and Seascapes.
Gallery Vanessa Suchar, London 2006 (F)

Cause and Effect – The Dust of Childhood.
Hartwell Gallery / Cornell University, NY 2005

Movement Into the Open – Seascapes.
Ahorn Grieneisen AG, Berlin 2005 (D)

Transformation – Seascapes
Art Home Gallery, Istanbul 2004 (Catalog) (TUR)

Silent Images – Photographs and Works on Paper.
Ahorn Grieneisen AG, Berlin 2004 (D)

Food For Thought: An Evening with Siegfried Zielinski.
Performance at V2 Dutch Electronic Art Fair, Rotterdam 2004 (NE)

BASICS – Uniques Verres Photographiques
Galerie François Laffanour DOWNTOWN, Paris 2003 (F)

Torso – Cité des Sciences, Paris 2003 (F)

Approaching the Unpredictable – Paper Art 8. Milk Skin (Milchhaut).
Installation at Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren 2002 (Catalog) (D)

En Face – Gisèle Freund photographed by Tom Fecht.
Martin Gropius Bau – Werkbund Archiv / Museum der Dinge, Berlin 2001 (Catalog) (D)

Sense of Space – Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen 2001 (Catalog) (NE)

Homage – Galerie Nina Beskow, Paris Photo 2000 (F)

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

Anatomie de la Tendresse – Portrait Studies
Galerie François Laffanour DOWNTOWN, Paris 1999 (F)

Wonderland – Norderlicht Fotofestival
Curated by Wim Mellis and Machiel Botman, Groningen 1999

Kunst auf Zeit – Group Show
Künstlerhaus Berlin, Berlin 1999

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 1992 (D)

DENKRAUM – Studies of an Endangered Body
in collaboration with the German AIDS Foundation and the
Berlin Doctors’ Council. Deutscher Reichstag, Berlin 1989 (D)

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