Wolfgang Tillmans, Lighter, blue convex III, 2010
Wolfgang Tillmans, Edinburgh builders, 1987
Wolfgang Tillmans, Icestorm, 2001
Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 144, 2009
Wolfgang Tillmans, Memorial for the Victims of Organized Religions, 2006
Wolfgang Tillmans Abstract Pictures (Hatje Kantz, 2011) Cover
When does an image becomes a photograph? At what point does a photograph stop being descriptive? When does the paper become more than just a support for an image? What does context do to the image? Wolfgang Tillmans is one of those few artists who in practice truly and constantly challenges the structures of photography and art. His abstract work is now collected in the book Wolfgang Tillmans Abstract Pictures (Hatje Cantz)
Tillmans was first recognised as a photographer in the late eighties when his night life images were published in magazines like i-D. At this time he also started to use the copy machine as a ”stationary camera”, with some almost abstract works like Sonne, Wellen Lacanau, c and the Edinburgh builders-series, 1987 as a result.
The abstract images have always been there for Tillmans, like in the Parkett Edition-series, 1992-98, but it´s in 1997 he started to create them more deliberately. Since then he has developed numerous techniques for creating abstract images.
”I don´t see my abstract work as a turn away from reality, but rather as a coherent continuation of what photography has always meant to me. From the moment a photograph exists as an object, it also exists as a color field.”
In the massive exhibition Lighter at Hamburger Banhof in Berlin in 2008, the abstract images were very present. This part of Tillmans’ work is now beautifully collected in Wolfgang Tillmans Abstract Pictures.
The book is both edited and designed by Tillmans himself , with Karl Kolbitz. Inside we´ll find all his abstract works – from the early photocopies to the latest Lighter-series of 2010. The book also contains a text by Dominic Eichler and excerpts from interviews, lectures and notes with and by Tillmans.
Wolfgang Tillmans Abstract Pictures
Hatje Cantz, 2011