Photo by Carmen Brunner, courtesy Maureen Paley, London
Wolfgang Tillmans

Photo by Carmen Brunner, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Wolfgang Tillmans

Born in 1968, in Remscheid (Germany)

Lives and works in Berlin (Germany)

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.

Selected Bibliography

Cotter, Suzanne ; Tilmans, Wolfgang ; Museu de arte contemporânea de Serralves (Porto, Portugal). Wolfgang Tillmans : no limiar da visibilidade = Wolfgang Tillmans : On the verge of vsibility [exhibition, Museu de arte contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, from 30 Juanuary to 25 April 2016 ; exposição, Museu de arte contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, de 30 de janerio a 25 de abril 2016]. Porto : Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, 2016. 

Verwoert, Jan ; Halley, Peter ; Midori, Matsui. Wolfgang Tillmans. New-York : Phaidon, 2014.

Tillmans, Wolfgang ; Ruf, Beatrix. Wolfgang Tillmans : Neue Welt : [exhibition, Zürich], Kunsthalle Zürich, [September 1-November 4, 2012]. Köln : Taschen, 2012. 

Obrist, Hans Ulrich. Wolfgang Tillmans. Köln : Buchhandlung Walther König, 2006. (The conversation series ; 6). 

Riesmschneider, Burkhard ; Tillmans, Wolfgang ; Deitcher, David... [et al.]. Wolfgang Tillmans. Cologne : Taschen, 2011. 

Tillmans, Wolfgang ; Sans, Jérôme ; Bourriaud, Nicolas. Wolfgang Tillmans : Vue d'en haut : [Exposition, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 28 septembre 2001-13 janvier 2002 ; Castello di Rivoli - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin, 18 février-5 mai 2002 ; Palais de Tokyo, Site de création contemporaine, Paris, 1er juin-15 septembre 2002 ; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, 11 octobre 2002-19 janvier 2003]. Paris : Palais de Tokyo-Site de création contemporaine ; Ostfildern-Ruit : Hatje Cantz, 2001. 

***   All materials available at the Documentation Centre of the Fondation  ***