Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans, “Damon, Shower, Head Up”, 1995

Wolfgang Tillmans is a German photographer and is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the foundations of the photographic medium. He was the first photographer to be awarded the Tate Museum’s annual Turner Prize.

Tillmans was considered the documentarian of his generation, especially its London club and gay scenes. In a discussion of his work, Tillmans said, “It was never my intention to be seen as diaristic or autobiographical. I was not recording the world around me or my tribe or whatever. There is a big misunderstanding there that still persists to this day.”

Tillmans’s series of photographs taken of his friends Lutz and Alex,  was published in the 1992 issue of “I-D”magazine and are considered important photographic documents of the 1990s. Starting in 1992, Tillmans lived and worked in London until he relocated to New York City in 1994. During this London period in his life, he began to exhibit his work  more frequently and developed a new exhibition style.

Wolfgang Tillmans’s new presetation of his work consisted of non-hierarchical arrangements of unframed photographs pinned or taped onto the gallery’s walls. Color photographs were juxtaposed next to inkjet prints and postcards, set against magazine clippings of his own images. These arrangements reached from the floor almost to the ceiling. Tillmans views each exhibition as a site-specific installation and often addresses the exhibition as a larger composition.

Tillmans is gay, and has expressed his support for gay rights explicitly in the past. He has covered Pride events since the 1992 Pride parade in London. The concept of community figures prominently in his most recent works.

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