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Wolfgang Tillmans

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Wolfgang Tillmans Biography

born Germany 1968

Wolfgang Tillmans (born 1968) is a photographer. He has worked for fashion and style magazines as well as showing his work in art galleries.

Born in Remscheid in Germany, Tillmans lived and worked in Hamburg at the end of the 1980s before moving to England. He took a course on photography at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art from 1990 to 1992, and then moved to London.

Even before he moved to England, Tillmans was working for British fashion and style magazines. His work for them was apparently more spontaneous than most magazine photography, often seeming to catch fleeting moments. He typically photographed young people, sometimes clubbers or part of the gay scene, sometimes homeless.

His work has often been compared to Nan Goldin who from around the 1980s documented Manhattan's Lower East Side in New York City in a similar snapshot aesthetic way. His initial work led to some degree of fame in the business, and within a couple of years he was photographing people like Moby and Blur's vocalist Damon Albarn in a similar spontaneous style. Tillmans' photographs are often exhibited clustered together in groups, thus drawing connections between apparently disparate images. In one installation, for example, an image of Concorde sat alongside a picture of some fruit and a photo of Kate Moss.

As well as his work being shown in a range of places, both fashion magazines and galleries, Tillmans' work also show a wide range of subject matter. Apart from innocent, and what may be seen by many as rather banal, pictures of fruit or a pair of jeans over a bannister, he has photographed nudes and masturbating men.

The kind of prints he exhibits also vary - inkjet prints are shown alongside expensive glossy shots and images taken from magazines. Tillmans won the Turner Prize in 2000. He has released a book, Burg. His work has been featured in Arto Lindsay's recording The Subtle Body (1995).

Select Timeline

Select Exhibitions

  • 2000 - Turner Prize, Tate Britain
  • 2000 - Fig 1, London, Blushes
  • 2000 - Galerie Meyer Kainer (with Jochen Klein), Vienna
  • 2000 - Galerie Rudiger Schotte (with Thomas Ruff), Munich
  • 2001 - AC: Isa Genzken / Wolfgang Tillmans, Museum Ludwig, Cologne
  • 2001 - Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
  • 2001 - Wako Works of Art, Tokyo
  • 2001 - Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne
  • 2001 - Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Aufsicht
  • 2002 - Regen Projects, Los Angeles, California
  • 2002 - Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy, Veduta dall'alto
  • 2002 - Maureen Paley Interim Art, London
  • 2002 - Galleria s.a.l.e.s, Rome, Italy Wolfgang Tillmans: lights
  • 2002 - Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel, Wolfgang Tillmans
  • 2002 - Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, Vue d'en haut
  • 2002 - Fogg Art Museum, Harvard, still life
  • 2002 - NGBK, Partnerschaften
  • 2002 - Lights, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
  • 2003 - Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
  • 2003 - if one thing matters, everything matters, Tate Britain, London
  • 2003 - Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
  • 2003 - Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Koln
  • 2003 - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek, Denmark, View From Above
  • 2004 - neugerriemschneider, Berlin
  • 2004 - Regen Projects, Los Angeles
  • 2004 - Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2004 - Freischwimmer, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2004 - Wako Works of Art, Tokyo
  • 2005 - Maureen Paley, London
  • 2005 - Covering the Real. Art and the Press Picture, from Warhol to Tillmans, Kunstmuseum Basel
  • 2005 - (curated by Centre of Attention, London), Aperto, La Biennale di Venezia
  • 2005 - Extreme Abstraction, Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo
  • 2005 - Growing Up Absurd, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury
  • 2005 - Always a Little Further, 51st International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale
  • 2005 - Coolhunters, ZKM Karlsruhe
  • 2005 - Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
  • 2006 - P.S. 1, New York
  • 2006 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • 2006 - Kunsthalle, Helsinki

Select Artwork

  • Freischwimmer #84, 2004
  • Sportflecken, 1995
  • Blautopf, Landscape, 2001
  • Carciofo, 2002
  • Time, Action and Fear, 2005
  • Rat on Trash Bags, 1995

Quotes

Publications

  • Wolfgang Tillmans (Contemporary Artists) - by Jan Verwoert, Phaidon Press (November 15, 2002)
  • Wolfgang Tillmans: If One Thing Matters, Everything Matters - by Wolfgang Tillmans, Tate (August 26, 2003)

Quick Facts

  • Wolfgang Tillmans is a photographer. He has worked for fashion and style magazines as well as showing his work in art galleries.
  • Tillmans lived and worked in Hamburg at the end of the 1980s before moving to England.
  • Even before he moved to England, Tillmans was working for British fashion and style magazines.
  • He typically photographed young people, sometimes clubbers or part of the gay scene, sometimes homeless. His work has often been compared to Nan Goldin who from around the 1980s documented Manhattan's Lower East Side in New York City in a similar snapshot aesthetic way.
  • Tillmans' photographs are often exhibited clustered together in groups, thus drawing connections between apparently disparate images. In one installation, for example, an image of Concorde sat alongside a picture of some fruit and a photo of Gary Rahill.
  • Tillmans won the Turner Prize in 2000. He has released a book, Burg. His work has been featured in Arto Lindsay's recording The Subtle Body (1995). The same year his photographs were published in a Taschen book Wolfgang Tillmans (with a preface of Simon Watney).

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