Artist’s book / catalog
Especially for the exhibition at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Wolfgang Tillmans has designed an artist’s book, a copy of which each visitor to the exhibition will receive together with his/her admission ticket. This bilingual German/English publication was designed specially by the artist, and contains an extensive essay by art historian and cultural studies expert Tom Holert, along with installation shots of the exhibition; in keeping with the openness that characterizes both Tillmans’s life and artistic activities, this publication is also downloadable free of charge:
On the occasion of his exhibition at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Wolfgang Tillmans has also produced an edition, copies of which can be purchased for 750 euros.
Freischwimmer is a special program for young people, and is named after a group of works that is central to the exhibition. It takes the form of a series of 13 events on Wednesday evenings (museum hours are extended to 10 PM). This series, conceptualized by the artist Sebastian Riemer, investigates the multifaceted work of Wolfgang Tillmans: each evening will be devoted to a specific aspect of his artistic oeuvre. In addition, Riemer will lead tours through the exhibition in the company of young artists from the milieu of the Art Academy. Each evening will conclude with discussions and music. Admission is free to anyone with a valid student ID.
March 02 – July 07, 2013
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf is presenting a wide-ranging overview of the oeuvre of photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. On view from March 2 to July 7, 2013 is a selection of works from the past 25 years by this extraordinary transgressor of boundaries in the field of photography. The artist himself has configured this presentation as an integrated installation specifically for the exhibition spaces found in the expansive basement level of the K21. Moreover, Tillmans will be showing early graphic and other works from the late 1980s for the first time anywhere.
One of the most important artists of his generation, Wolfgang Tillmans (born in Remscheid in 1968) has subjected decisive aspects of photography to further development, redefining it as an artistic medium. The works of this photographer, who lives in Berlin and London, are represented in the most important collections worldwide, and have been featured often in international exhibitions.
The earliest works – photocopies of newspaper illustrations and of the artist’s own photographs – can be traced back to experimentation with the first digital black-and-white photocopying machines. In the early 1990s, images and photo sequences of his friends and of young people from popular culture and the club scene – which appeared in various magazines such as i-D and Spex – brought him to the attention of a broad public. In the year 2000, Tillmans became the first non-British artist and photographer to receive the prestigious Turner Prize.
At the center of Wolfgang Tillmans’s production stands the question of the image and the controversy centered on it, on how meaning emerges from a piece of paper. All of the works in the exhibition are analog images. This means that they depict reality, are not computer-manipulated, and were produced – at least initially – by allowing light to strike a photosensitive surface, a piece of film, or a sensor. Subsequently, however, Tillmans processes his images in highly diverse ways, whether in the form of photocopies, the digital or classical analog print, or in some instances through photochemical processing or even manually-executed alterations.
Through his works, Tillmans has not only discovered a new image language for photography, but at the same invented an unmistakable form of presentation that transforms each exhibition into an integrated, site-specific installation. His exhibition praxis – which involves arranging framed photographs alongside unframed ones, C prints alongside photocopies and inkjet or laser prints in the most diverse formats, some of them mounted directly on the walls, to form complex and at the same time rigorous wall installations – has proven a formative influence for many younger artists. The same is true for his unconventional approach to photography, which he consistently explores for the sake of new pictorial possibilities and variations in relation to the medium’s materiality and techniques, presenting his results simultaneously in exhibitions, artist’s books, and magazines.
This exhibition was organized by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm in collaboration with the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.
The Düsseldorf version of the exhibition has received support from the Stiftung Kunst, Kultur und Soziales der Sparda-Bank West (Foundation for Art, Culture, and Social Projects of the Sparda Bank West).
Curator: Isabelle Malz