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Wolfgang Tillmans

Artist Wolfgang Tillmans' fascination with paper and its transformation from a mechanical and industrial material to one charged with meaning and beauty has been a recurring theme in his work since the early 1990s.

Tillmans' understanding of photographs as objects, rather than just flat surfaces, led to his creation of the "paper drop" series, where he photographed large pieces of exposed paper with a shallow depth of field, creating a drop-like shape where only the edge is in focus.

These photographs blur the line between three-dimensional and two-dimensional objects and challenge the viewer's perception of disruptions and imperfections in the image.

Tillmans' interest in fabric and drapery also connects to the Paper Drop and Lighter works, where disruptions in the surface and plane create a shift in perception between representation and self-referential object.

©Wolfgang Tillmans


Wolfgang Tillmans is an artist living and working in Berlin and London. Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany, Wolfgang Tillmans studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in Bournemouth, England, from 1990 to 1992.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Turner Prize 2000 and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2015, and debuted as set designer for the English National Opera in 2018.

Since the early 1990s, Tillmans’s work has been the subject of prominent solo exhibitions at international institutions. Recent solo presentations of his work have been organized by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Kunsthalle Zürich ; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Museum of Art, Osaka; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (mumok), Vienna.

Fragile, a major touring solo exhibition of the artist’s work, opened in 2018 at the Musée d’Art Contemporain et Multimédias in Kinshasa and continued to travel throughout Africa until 2022. In September 2022, a major solo exhibition of Tillmans’s work, To look without fear, was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

©Wolfgang Tillmans

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