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In Dialogue: Wolfgang Tillmans

July 1–October 26, 2014

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, born 1968) uses photography to explore the nature of pictures while looking at the contemporary world with a perceptive, nonjudgmental eye. He emerged in the 1990s as a photographer of the youthful European counterculture in which he was a participant. Since that time, he has drawn revelatory connections among disparate kinds of photographs, from arresting images of the social world to ethereal darkroom abstractions to photocopies.

In 2013 the museum acquired its first work by Tillmans, a large color photograph entitled Nachtstilleben (Night Still Life). This exhibition places works by artists including Andy Warhol, Thomas Demand, and Gerhard Richter in dialogue with Night Still Life and seven additional photographs by Tillmans. The conversations these objects foster highlight processes of transformation: of paper, light, and chemicals into a photograph; of the three-dimensional world into a flat image; and of an image into a meaningful picture. They also illuminate how exploration of the abstract qualities of the photographic medium can coexist with keenly sensual description of the physical world.

Curator Nathaniel Stein on Wolfgang Tillmans's Night Still Life

Main Building


Nathaniel Stein, Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography

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