Wolfgang Tillmans


Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968) is a leading genre-bending art-world disruptor. Since emerging in the late 1990's Tillmans has twisted the boundaries and formats of photography. In 2000 Tillmans won the Turner Prize and became one of the most contested recipients in its history. Not only was he the first photographer to win, but was also the first non-Brit. 

His body of work is vast and has allegiance to no genres. Tillmans has worked in fashion photography, portraiture, still life, collage and installation.

Some of his earliest exhibitions included covering gallery walls with a broad range of images from assorted formats; oversized C-prints, color photocopies, magazine tear-outs etc. This diversity of medium and planned informality predicts many of the art-world trends that would manifest almost a decade later. 

In 2016, Tillmans created a new series of 172 unique photocopy color prints titled 'Tate Modern Edition 2016', to celebrate the Tate Modern's Switch House extension in June of that year. When construction on the extension was underway, Tillmans visited the London site to document the workers, machines, and interiors that captivated him. Tillmans then distorted the photographs using an outdated photocopier from the 1980's which he had in his studio. By scanning the images and separating their colors into CYMK, the images were reprinted and the process was repeated 3 more times. This process overlayed and offset the 4 colors, ultimately creating 172 unique abstracted prints. Tillmans has increasingly situated his practice where representation confronts abstraction and the alchemy of photography. 

The works from this series are quintessential Tillmans. His diverse oeuvre has always documented his surroundings while experimenting with photography and it's processes. The distorted and abstracted works upholds Tillmans tradition of challenging the photography's conventions and it's associated mechanical / chemical processes. 

Today examples of his work can be found in institutions around the world including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Guggenheim (NYC), the MoMA (NYC) and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and the MOCA (Los Angeles) to mention a few. 

Interestingly, the Tate has the sibling to this work in its permanent collection.

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

Tate Modern Edition #154

Germany, 2016

Unique colour laser photocopy on paper

From a series of 172 (each print is unique). 

Signed, titled, and dated on a label, verso

16.5"H 11"W (work)

19"H 14"W (frame)

Excellent condition.

Published by: Tate Gallery / Tate Modern, London, UK.


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