Einzelgänger IV

  • 2000
  • Wolfgang Tillmans
  • Satiny Chromogenic Color Print
  • 228 x 171 cm
The resulting images appear to feature liquid, hair, internal organs or sub-aquatic scenes, but no liquid was actually used in their making. The effects were achieved by hand, dry: the printed marks were literally created by the artist's movements. Although at first sight these works do not look like photographs, the abstract lines highlight the photographic process, whether or not a camera was used. The images were not created using an automatic process but reflect the artist's own touch and physical presence. Wolfgang Tillmans began to work with abstraction in 1998, not considering it to be a new direction but a pause in the obligation to represent.

© Wolfgang Tillmans/ Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Argyroglo


Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans emerged at the beginning of the 1990s as a photographer of a libertarian post-punk youth who listened to techno music.

At raves and gay gatherings, he captured – in large ink-jet prints, often unframed – the vulnerability of bodies, friends in informal poses, and individuals observed over a number of years in their personal lives. Using photography as social art, relating directly to reality, Tillmans builds empathy with his subjects. His art gets to the essential truth by paying close attention to the era. In doing so he revisits traditional genres: portraiture, still life and landscape. Tillmans has never stopped investigating photographic techniques. He enlarges and reframes his images using a copy machine, and creates abstract photographs in a dark room without a camera, simply using a light source. Since 1992 Tillmans has designed his exhibitions himself. Forming groups of photographs, hung on and stuck to the wall, or displayed on tables in no predefined order, he uses space as a laboratory in which collections of images reflect human communities.

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