“Wolfgang Tillmans”

Wolfgang Tillmans, at the frontiers of the visible

As one exhibition concludes, another opens… While the solo show dedicated to German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans is finishing at the Tate in London, the retrospective on him at the Fondation Beyeler is starting up in the Swiss city of Basel. Perfect timing for a closer look at this artist whose experimentations have taken him far and wide… Contemporary photography – unfortunately – doesn’t always have many superstars to boast about. Even if the medium has achieved recognition in the last decade, its ecosystem still remains closed: it has its own dedicated galleries, themed auction sales, mono-medium fairs, specialised journals… In this respect, Germany’s Wolfgang Tillmans emerges as something of a phenomenon. Earning steady recognition from institutions and art critics from a very early stage in his career, he is already counted amongst the most fashionable photographers… And yet we can sense that this artist still has more tricks up his sleeve. Born in 1968 in Remscheid in West Germany (near Cologne and Düsseldorf, and therefore also near Europe-focused Belgium and the Netherlands), he discovered the photography of Polke, Richter and Rauschenberg while he was still a teenager in the museums of big neighbouring cities. After three years in Hamburg, Tillmans continued his studies at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in South England. He then moved to London before staying in New York for one year in 1994. This is where he met gallerist Andrea Rosen, who would be the first to support him, as well as his lover, painter Jochen Klein. The two Germans would return to Europe where they lived together in the British capital until the death, in 1997, of Klein, a victim of AIDS. Tillmans was not yet 30 at the time. In 2000, the artist suddenly emerged from obscurity by becoming...

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Wolfgang Tillmans wins 2015 Hasselblad Photography Award

German photographer and artist Wolfgang Tillmans has been awarded the 2015 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, worth SEK1,000,000 (roughly $120,000). The foundation’s annual photography prize is considered to be amongst the most important in the world. Tillmans will be presented with the prize at a ceremony in Gothenburg, Sweden on 30 November 2015. On 1 December, the Hasselblad Center will open an exhibition of Tillman’s work, in conjunction with the launch of his new book and a symposium with the artist. The foundation explained in a statement: “Wolfgang Tillmans has established himself among the most original and innovative artists of his generation, constantly pushing the photographic medium in new directions. His practice has covered subjects of pressing political and social importance since the 1990s, reflecting both directly and indirectly on the power of the photographic image to engage critically with the world around us.” Wolfgang Tillmans, born in 1968, is a German fine-art photographer living in Berlin and London. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations. In 2000, Tillmans was the first photographer—and also the first non-English person—to be awarded the Tate annual Turner Prize. In 2009, he was awarded the Kulturpreis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie (The Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography). The Hasselblad Foundation was founded in 1979. The foundation aims to promote education and research in the field of photography and natural sciences. The Hasselblad Award was awarded for the first time in 1980. Previous recipients have included Miyako Ishiuchi, Japan, in 2014, Joan Fontcuberta, Spain, in 2013, and Paul Graham, Great Britain/USA, in...

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Wolfgang Tillmans moving to David Zwirner

New York, 26 February 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). It has been confirmed that German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans is now being represented by David Zwirner in New York. On 10 February, reports circulated that Tillmans had left Andrea Rosen, with whom he had been associated for twenty years. Rosen confirmed his departure in an email, published on website Gallerist NY: “Not only do I respect an artist’s right to make choices, but I also deeply respect Wolfgang’s work. Wolfgang and I continue to have a meaningful and personal dialogue, and in the spirit of our twenty year relationship, it will continue both professionally and personally.” Speculations as to his decision to move to David Zwirner have now been confirmed. Tillmans is to continue to be represented by Maureen Paley in London and Daniel Buchholz in Berlin. Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany, he was both the first photographer and non-British artist to be awarded the Turner Prize in...

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Documentary on German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans at the Museo del Banco de la República in Bogotá

Bogotá, 9 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). On occasion of the exhibition held at the Museo del Banco de la República in Bogotá of German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, a documentary about him will be screened on 18 January between 4pm and 5pm in the museum’s auditorium. Tillmans (born in 1968) is considered one of the most important contemporary German photographers. He won the Turner Prize in 2000 and has exhibited in numerous and well-known galleries and museums throughout the world. The documentary of 13 minutes is part of the “Contacts” series and clearly illustrates the most important concepts of his project: his first approaches to photography, finding new definitions around the notion of identity, the review of the manifestations of Abstract photography, the production and reproduction of the image, among others. During the last twenty years, Tillmans tried to redefine photography and the forms in which it is presented. In the exhibition held in the museum, until 28 January 2013, he explores the complexity of creating photographic images, his photographs reflect his devotion to what he describes as “abstraction based on reality”....

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Wolfgang Tillmans at Museo de Arte del Banco de la República in Bogotá

Bogotá, 9 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Until 28 January, the Museo de Arte del Banco de la República de Bogotá (Colombia) is hosting an exhibition of works by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Julia Peyton-Jones and Sophie O’Brien from the Serpentine Gallery in London are the curators of this retrospective. During the last twenty years, Tillmans did his best to redefine photography and the forms in which it is presented. In this exhibition, he explores the complexity of creating photographic images: indeed, his numerous photographs reflect his devotion to what he describes as “abstraction based on reality”. Tillmans was acknowledged in the late 1980’s for his apparently insignificant prints, nevertheless witnesses of the contemporary world. By intelligently rearranging ideas regarding photographic reportage and rendering identity issues that were debated at the time, those works were able to capture the fragility of human life and the intrinsic beauty of everyday objects. This initial work expanded to show deeper commitment to different genres such as portrait, landscape, still life and abstraction. Experience and the unknown were always crucial in Tillmans’s practice. Since 1957, Museo de Arte del Banco de la República has begun gathering a collection of Colombian, Latin-American and European contemporary art, which comprises over 3,500 works ; the institution is currently displaying works in various places of the Colombian capital.  ...

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