Thomas Bak

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A Selection of Photographic Plates by Thomas Bak. The Photographic Capriccio. (1998–2008)

Thomas Tadeus Bak is a German visual artist, art director, writer and composer, mainly known for his work in photography.


Atavista, German/French Monograph about Thomas Bak. (2006)

Bak was born the son of immigrants from Szczecin, Northern Poland.[1] He was entitled as "Germany’s Youngest Draughtsman"[2] at the age of eleven due to his first publication in a German graphic magazine for mature readers and elected twice as the "Official Graphic Designer of the Hochschule fuer Kuenste Bremen" during his studies of Book/Graphic Design and Photography at this university.[3] Bak worked as an art director in European design studios and advertising agencies before he began to lecture the Photographic Master Class of the IAA[4] (International Academy of Arts) at the age of twenty-seven in Germany, France and Poland. His works are featured in various releases for the music industry,[5] including publications of former Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy and Dalis Car. He was the youngest photographer ever decorated with the Reinhart-Wolf-Preis and the BFF (Bund Freischaffender Foto-Designer) as the "Best of the Best" in 2004.[6]


Primary Literature (Books by Bak)[edit]

  • Ene Mene Mysterium. Eine Sechspostkartennovelle. (1993)
  • Den Hænden nach ein Hundt. (1995)
  • AThMN. An Act of Tarot. (1995)
  • Vropa. 22 Photographies. (1996)
  • BVCH DER VVAND=LVNGEN & VVIRBEL=SÆVREN. Fynff=Zehn Blætter ihrer Længe nach betichtet. (1998)
  • V.R.Op.A. : C I — IV. (1999)
  • COSMONAVCIONES et Polaroïdes. (1999)
  • Hand= bzw. Flusz=Abdrykke; Zwölf Absichten bald "Cosmonauciones" tätoliert. (2000)
  • Atavista : 33 Photographic Compositions. (2000)
  • Arche Nada; Yber dem Vm=Gang mit Todtem. Allsoh : "Gryner Fuchs" tætolirt. (2001)
  • Vff=Tact zum Eiligen Kriege; Polaroïden & Tincturen. (Allrot, 2002)
  • Fynff Tincturen. (Pan Press, 2002)
  • The Tourist, Plates I — XXXV. (2006)
  • Ex Ceterra Incognita, Capricci Erotici e Verticale. (2008)
  • The Tourist, Plates XXXVI — LXXX. (2012)
  • Ornament City, Essays & Capricci. (TK Verlag Hamburg, 2012)
  • Psylens. (Pan Press / S.Ph.In.X. Camera Obscura International, 2013)
  • On Love considered as one of the Fine Arts. Essays & Essails by Bak (TK Verlag Hamburg, 2014)

Secondary Literature (Selection)[edit]

  • Inferso. KUBO Art Award 2000, Xzeit Edition Berlin (ISBN 3980755509)
  • Manfred Schmalriede, Norbert Waning: Reinhart-Wolf-Preis 2004
  • Bund freischaffender Fotodesigner: Das BFF-Jahrbuch 2005 (ISBN 3933989256)
  • Peter Rautmann, Jörn Christiansen: Vier Jahrzehnte Fotografie in Bremen. Focke-Museum, 2003 (ISBN 3897571609)
  • Ein tierisches Vergnuegen. Kunstsammlung der Sparkasse Bremen / Edition Hachmann, 2006 (ISBN 9783939429234)
  • ATAVISTA. L'Œuvre Photographique du Thomas Bak. 2006 (Cannes, France)
  • Gemeinsam, aber getrennt. 2008 (Gesellschaft "Forum e.V." zur Foerderung der Polnischen Kultur, Ministry of Culture and Communication Germany)
  • BAK = ATAVISTA. The Photographic Works of Thomas Tadeus Bak. Second Edition, 2008 (IAA Publications, St.Magnus)
  • Bak — The Photographic Capriccio. Sheets from 1998 to 2008 (Galerie Hilaneh von Kories / Photoselection GmbH)
  • TAZ / Die Tageszeitung, 1990 (newspaper interview in German)
  • Profifoto #2, 2005 (interview in German, 8 pages)
  • Zoo Magazine #20, edited by Bryan Adams. 2008 (interview & retrospective in English, 8 pages)
  • Profifoto #10, 2008 (retrospective in German, 6 pages)
  • Schwarzweiss #87, Das Magazin fuer Fotografie. 2012 (retrospective 2008 — 2012 in German, 8 pages)
  • Alambic Parisienne #2, 2013 (interview in French; featuring current works, 8 pages)

Exhibition History (Selection)[edit]

  • 1999 "Three Positions of Contemporary Photography" at the Profile Intermedia 02, Congress Center Bremen, Germany
  • "AThMN," Media Center Bremen
  • 2000 "Inferso," Municipal Gallery (Bremen) & "Inferso," Kulturbrauerei GmbH (Berlin, Germany)
  • 2001 "Paradogs," Profile Intermedia 04 (Bremen)
  • 2002 "Four Decades of Photography in Bremen," Museum for the State’s History
  • 2004 "A=N," Photokina (Cologne, Germany)
  • "A=N," Design Center (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • "AThMN/Metamorphoses," Institut Français & Goethe-Institut Budapest (Hungary)
  • 2005 "V.R.Op.A." at the headquarters of the Tokyo Journal (Japan)
  • Gallery B (Nagoya, Japan)
  • 2006 "Ein tierisches Vergnügen," Sparkasse Bremen
  • Retrospective "Atavista" at the gallery Marc Piano (Cannes, France)
  • Retrospective "Atavista" at the International Academy of Arts (Lesmona, Germany)
  • 2008 Retrospective "Das Photographische Capriccio. Blätter aus den Jahren 1998 bis 2008" at Galerie Hilaneh von Kories / Photoselection GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)


  • Incubus (1993, 22 min.)
  • Atavista (2005, 40 min.)


External links[edit]