Thiel is widely renown for photographing the architectural spaces of Berlin, reflecting a turbulent social and political history. Thiel's monumental works are not merely documentation, but picture a city reborn after a tumultuous history. Thiel refers to Berlin as "the youngest city in the world" and further explains that "the city that suffers from an overdose of history…yet it does not suffer from its sediments like other European cities, but from the consequences of its eruptions." The architectural spaces in these photographs are not only reflections of a turbulent social and political history, but of the emergence of new patterns of urban existence. Previous bodies of work have focused on such topics as state surveillance and the privatization of public space.
Frank Thiel has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries worldwide; his works are included in the collections of many major international museums including the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Museu National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.