In February 2011, German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans (born 1968) decided to pay a visit to Fruit Logistica, the most important convention in the international fruit trade, held annually in Berlin. More than 2,400 fresh produce companies gather at the convention, presenting a dazzling panorama of texture and color. “I was left open-mouthed by the crazy displays and the variety and complexity of the international fruit trade and its processing machinery,” he records. “I reacted with my camera straight away.” The resultant 66 color photographs are published here for the first time.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Dominic Eichler.
From the start, Wolfgang Tillmans' abstract photographs played a decisive role in his gentle subversion of photographic hierarchies and his seductive emphasis on the materiality of photographic objects in his presentation of them. In the past decade he has pursued this tack, making wholly non-representational photographs that explore processes of exposure. From the delicate veils of color in the Blushes and Freischwimmer series, and the sculptural paper drops made of folded or rolled-up photographic paper, to the colorfully compelling works of the Lighter series, the printed object itself, divorced from its reproductive function, is always the point. “For me, the abstract picture is already objective because it's a concrete object and represents itself,” Tillmans says; “the paper on which the picture is printed is for me an object, there is no separating the picture from that which carries it. That's why I like to show photographs sometimes framed and sometimes not, just taped to the wall.” Designed by the photographer, and with 275 color reproductions of these works, Abstract Pictures impressively demonstrates how fruitfully Tillmans has mined this terrain. Wolfgang Tillmans (born 1968) began his career in photography documenting Hamburg's rave scene in the late 1980s. His earliest images were printed on digital copiers, and in the mid-1990s, living in London and then New York, Tillmans began to foreground the lo-fi properties of his printed images by exhibiting them pinned or taped to gallery walls. In 2005, at an exhibition at Maureen Paley gallery titled Truth Study Center, he further extended this approach by exhibiting photographs alongside newspaper cuttings, pamphlets and other kinds of printed matter, on custom-made wooden vitrines. This installation also brought to the fore more political themes in Tillmans' photography. In 2011 he traveled to Haiti to document reconstruction efforts following the previous year's earthquakes.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Julie Ault, Daniel Birnbaum, Joachim Jaeger.
Since winning the Turner Prize in 2000 for his 1990s oeuvre of portraits and snapshots, German-born photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has increasingly gravitated towards the abstract and material-specific properties of his medium. Following Blushes, the Freischwimmer series and the monochromatic Silver series, his most recent abstract works--of which the creased and folded Lighter series is perhaps the most significant--treat the photograph, and especially photographic paper itself, no longer as a reproductive medium, but as a material object. In Tillmans' "paper drop" photographs, the paper's physical folds and curves are photographed to produce geometric, tactile compositions. Other works oscillate more elusively between photograph and object, always thriving in the interplay. "For me, the abstract picture is already objective because it's a concrete object and represents itself," Tillmans observes; "the paper on which the picture is printed is for me an object, there is no separating the picture from that which carries it. That's why I like to show photographs sometimes framed and sometimes not, just taped to the wall." These most recent works are gathered for the first time in this book. Lighter also includes an extensive section of installation views--taken by Tillmans himself--that offers the reader a direct experience of the artist's visual cosmos as presented in recent exhibitions, including his last retrospective, which was seen at various major venues in the United States.
A much-needed reprint of London photographer Wolfgang Tillmans' first book--published in 1995 and long out of print--this atmospheric, rhythmic compilation of black-and-white images combines portraits of youth culture, landscapes, city scenes, slogans, clippings from newspapers and book illustrations, neatly demonstrating the development of Tillmans' savvy, genre-crossing style, which lends itself so well to book form. Perennially influential to younger artists, Tillmans has become known for his salon-style exhibitions where images of different sizes and subjects are pinned to the wall in loosely connected constellations that have contributed greatly to how we read and view photographs. In a 2005 interview with artist Isa Genzken, Tillmans said of his approach, "I think it's much more radical to see and show things as they look instead of making them somehow subversive through alienation or estrangement." Tillmans is the first German-born artist, as well as the first photographer, to be awarded Britain's esteemed Turner Prize.
Over the course of two very personal conversations, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Wolfgang Tillmans discuss the photographer’s work, his changing artistic vision and various thematic pursuits since the 1980s. Tillmans’ recent book Manual is discussed in detail, as are cultural and social topics like AIDS.
According to photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, “For the chosen few, flying Concorde is apparently a glamorous but cramped and slightly boring routine while to watch it in air, landing or taking off is a strange and free spectacle, a super modern anachronism and an image of the desire to overcome time and distance through technology.” With no text other than the inner-front flap’s description, this fourth printing of Tillmans’ iconic artist’s book consists of 62 color photographs of the Concorde airplane--taking off, landing or in flight, and sometimes as just a tiny, bird-like silhouette in the sky. The photographs speak of both the beauty and the environmental devastation produced by this fabled French airplane, both sides of which Tillmans captures in his casual yet formally elegant signature style.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Wolfgang Tillmans.
At just over 430 pages, this monumental and beautifully designed new monograph presents the most comprehensive view of the London-based photographer Wolfgang Tillmans' work to date, featuring many photographic works and abstract "paintings" from the past five years that have never been published before. When he is working on an exhibition or a publication, Tillmans displays and combines pictures on long tables in his studio so that the images are "held in position only by their own weight. The method of laying out two-dimensional objects on a table produces 'clarity' and allows perspective. A new text emerges through the combination of intrinsically different pieces of paper. The issues dealt with on these tables do not claim to be fully comprehensive and the items chosen do not profess to be definitive examples of their kind. Rather, this multivocal process allows me to amplify voices I feel need strengthening, contrasting them with their opposites and their neighbors." This method has become a concept. In Manual the artist combines his own photographs, painterly works and texts together with already existing newspaper articles to create an associative, comprehensive view. The material is condensed into a complex artistic dialogue with various social and political themes, like AIDS or the question of absolute truth, which the artist has been exploring for years.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.. Essay by Wolfgang Tillmans.
For artist Wolfgang Tillmans, portraiture is a collaborative process between photographer and accomplice. While Tillmans' photographs are often referred to as casual, they are actually the result of a carefully constructed process of engagement with his models. Each sitter, be they a world-famous rock star or a family member, projects both vulnerability and dignity. Presented here are a selection of some of the best of these portraits, taken between 1988 to 2001, and chosen by Tillmans himself. Subjects include filmmaker John Waters, architect Rem Koolhaas, musicians Moby and Michael Stipe, actresses Irm Hermann and Chloë Sevigny, as well as the artist's family and friends.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.. Text by Wolfgang Tillmans.
Signed by the photographer Wolfgang Tillmans in a limited quantity.
For artist Wolfgang Tillmans, portraiture is a collaborative process between photographer and accomplice. While Tillmans' photographs are often referred to as casual, they are actually the result of a carefully constructed process of engagement with his models. Each sitter, be they a world-famous rock star or a family member, issues forth both vulnerability and dignity. Presented here are a selection of some of the best of these portraits, taken between 1988 to 2001, and chosen by Tillmans himself. Subjects include filmmaker John Waters, architect Rem Koolhaas, musicians Moby and Michael Stipe, actresses Irm Hermann and Chloe Sevigny, as well as the artist's family and friends.
Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers. Edited by Zdnek Felix. Texts by Rudolf Schmitz, Giorgio Verzotti.
Wolfgang Tillmans, the first German-born artist, and first photographer, ever to be awarded Britain's prestigious Turner Prize, has become, in recent years, "Mr. Zeitgeist," as the German magazine ARt has called him. His best-known photographs, such as portraits of friends and youth culture denizens, stillifes, images of garments, and the "Concorde" series, have been shown in exhibitions and magazines throughout the world. Presenting him, however, as far more than a documentarian of Gen-X and youth culture, this major monograph on his work will present primarily unpublished photographs: land and cityscapes that have been manipulated with light during the printing process, images created without negatives, only by the use of light on photographic paper, and other abstractions. The book also includes a variety of more familiar works in which Tillmans examines the abstract qualities of nature and common, man-made goods. Wolfgang Tillmans is a remarkable publication on one of the most important artists of his generation.