Wolfgang Tillmans: A Reader
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Edited by Roxana Marcoci and Phil Taylor.
“Wolfgang Tillmans is not only a great artist, he’s a joyous intellectual whose generosity, wit and good-natured skepticism is political, authentic and playfully profound.” –John Waters
This volume offers a panoramic collection of interviews and writings from an artist for whom language has always been a significant means of creative expression. Arranged chronologically, the assembled texts reflect Tillmans’ thinking on photography, music, politics, nightlife, astronomy, spirituality and activism. The sources are as varied as their content, with statements and conversations that originally appeared in exhibition catalogues rubbing up against social-media posts and song lyrics.
Whether discussing his own work as a photographer or drawing out the thoughts of others, Tillmans is a generous interlocutor with a refreshing clarity of thought. This visually rich and timely publication tracks Tillmans’ contributions to art and cultural criticism in tandem with the social and cultural shifts of the past 30 years.
Wolfgang Tillmans (born 1968) is among the most influential contemporary artists, and the impact of his work registers across the arts, intersecting with fashion, music, architecture, the performing arts, and activism. Known for his genre-defying practice and ongoing investigation into the photographic medium, Tillmans is the recipient of the Turner Prize (2000) and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2015). His foundation, Between Bridges, supports the advancement of democracy, international understanding, the arts and LGBTQ rights.
“Wolfgang Tillmans is not only a great artist, he’s a joyous intellectual whose generosity, wit and good-natured skepticism is political, authentic and playfully profound. Read this volume and marvel at his highbrow yet unpretentious theories on abstraction combined with a low-level appreciation of the down and dirty. Thrill to Wolfgang’s magically elitist yet of-the-people reinvention of ‘real’ photography and weep at the beauty of his love for the ‘unforeseen.’ Can printed museum art-talk be so smart that it becomes sexually arousing for the reader? Sure it can. And this is just the book to prove that.” –John Waters
“For over 30 years, Wolfgang Tillmans has been surveying culture and politics, as attentive to the production of news as he is to the radical intimacies of the nightclub or protest. Through his lens the world recovers its complexity. In an era of dangerous simplifications, we need his work more than ever.” –Olivia Laing