13
Sep
10

Exhibition: Wolfgang Tillmans at the Serpentine Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 26th June – 19th September 2010

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“In the constellations of pictures, I try to approximate the way I see the world, not in a linear order but as a multitude of parallel experiences…  Multiple singularities, simultaneously accessible as they share the same space or room.”

Wolfgang Tillmans

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Since I haven’t been to the exhibition I have tried to sequence the photographs of this wonderful artist in a small intimation of how he might have visualised them – I hope you get the idea. The installation photographs at the bottom give clues to the actual moments of what Minor White calls ‘ice/fire’ – the space between disparate images, the space that is just as important as the images themselves for the frisson that is evokes, the creation of that metaphorical leap into the void of meaning where malleable thoughts emerge; never linear, both singular and multiple at one and the same time.

Many thankx to the Serpentine Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Anders pulling splinter from his foot’
2004
C-type print
61 × 50.8 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Nanbei Hu’

2009
Inkjet print
207 x 138 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Roy’
2009
C-type print
40.6 x 30.5 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Venus, transit’
2004
C-type print
40.6 × 30.5 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Dan’
2008
C-type print
61 × 50.8 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Eierstapel’
2009
C-type print
61 x 50.8 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Muqarnas’
2006
Framed C-type print
214 × 145 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Urgency XXII’
2006
Framed C-type print
238 × 181 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Zimmerlinde (Michel)’
2006
Framed C-type print
211 × 145 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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“The Serpentine Gallery presents Wolfgang Tillmans’ first major exhibition in London since 2003. Conceived by the artist for the Serpentine Gallery, the exhibition will present both abstract and figurative work.

Over the past 20 years, Tillmans has redefined photography and the way it is shown. Known by the early 90s for the seemingly casual images of the world he inhabited, his work reassessed photographic conventions and reflected the identity politics of the time, capturing the fragility of human life and focusing on everyday objects. This early work then expanded to engage with portraiture, landscape, the still-life and, more recently, abstraction. Tillmans’ abstract work, greatly celebrated in the last decade, continues to push the boundaries and definitions of the photographic form, and will be a particular focus of this exhibition.

The wide-ranging themes in Tillmans’ photographs are combined in his reconfiguration of accumulated images, created in response to a given space. In this new exhibition, the explorations into abstraction sit alongside a new focus on the figurative – a focus that is increasingly informed by recent colour field works and experiments with process. Referring to his approach to installation making Tillmans said: In the constellations of pictures, I try to approximate the way I see the world, not in a linear order but as a multitude of parallel experiences…  Multiple singularities, simultaneously accessible as they share the same space or room.”

The Serpentine Gallery exhibition reflects the artist’s acute sensitivity to the politics of contemporary society, his ongoing fascination with colour, and his conceptual engagement with the technical processes of photography. These delicate yet challenging images capture the distinctive energetic balance between beauty and subversion that Tillmans has long embraced.

Tillmans was born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany. He studied in Great Britain at the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art & Design, graduating in 1992. In the 1990s, his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Kunsthalle Zurich; and Portikus, Frankfurt, amongst others. In 2000 he won the Tate’s Turner Prize. A large survey exhibition in 2001-2003 toured to Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark. His show called Freedom from the Known at P.S.1, New York (2006) was followed by a major tour of North American museums. In 2008, Tillmans had an extensive solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin entitled Lighter, and in 2009 was included in Making Worlds at the 53rd Venice Biennale. More than twenty monographic books on his work have been published to date and an exhibition catalogue will accompany the Serpentine Gallery exhibition.

The exhibition will run concurrently with the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010, designed by Jean Nouvel and opening on 10 July. Housed in the Pavilion will be artist Christian Boltanski’s Les Archives du Coeur installation.”

Press release from the Serpentine Gallery website

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Wolfgang Tillmans
‘Silver Installation VII’
2009
Unique C-type prints
Installation view
Photograph: Gautier de Blonde

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Wolfgang Tillmans
Installation views Serpentine Gallery, London
Photographs: Gautier de Blonde

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Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London W2 3XA
T 020 7402 6075
F 020 7402 4103

Opening hours:
Daily, 10am – 6pm

Serpentine Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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