May 28 – October 1, 2017

This year's big summer exhibition is devoted to the artist Wolfgang Tillmans. It is the first comprehensive engagement with the medium of photography at the Fondation Beyeler, which some time ago added a wonderful group of works by Tillmans to its collection. Around 200 photographic works dating from 1989 to 2017 will be on show from May 28 to October 1, together with a new audiovisual installation.

Tillmans first made a name for himself in the early 1990s through photographs that have attained iconic status for their evocation of the mood of an entire generation, with its carefree urge for freedom and its desire to seize life’s moments. Soon, however, he widened his focus, experimenting with the means of photography to develop a new visual language. He created his images with and without a camera and also using a photocopier. In addition to traditional genres such as portrait, still life and landscape, the exhibition presents abstract works that play with the limits of the visible. It will show how Tillman’s work is concerned with the creation of images rather than with photography in the conventional sense. The exhibition is being designed in close cooperation with the artist.

Room Guide

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Wolfgang Tillmans was born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany. At 20 he lived in Hamburg, where he began his work as an artist. In the early 1990s, he studied at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design in Great Britain. Between 1992 and 2007, he lived and worked predominantly in London before shifting his focus to Berlin. His oeuvre has been internationally recognized and exhibited since the early 1990s.

Tillmans first made a name for himself in the early 1990s through photographs that have attained iconic status for their evocation of the mood of an entire generation, with its carefree urge for freedom and its desire to seize life’s moments. Many motifs derive from the techno and gay scene of the 1990s. Over the years, he widened the range of his work, experimenting with the means of photography to develop a new visual language. He created works with and without a camera and also using a photocopier.

In addition to traditional genres such as portrait, still life and landscape, the exhibition presents abstract works that play with the limits of the visible. It shows how Tillman’s work is concerned with the creation of images rather than with photography in the conventional sense. Photography is generally expected to show reality as it is, so what viewers notice in a photograph is primarily its depiction of reality. For Tillmans, this is an inappropriate, narrow approach because a photographic image can show much more. He is interested in a photography that conjures up images and he indefatigably explores the manifold possibilities for creating and experiencing them.

The exhibition consists of around 200 photographic works from the years 1986-2017 as well as a room with relatively new music videos . Tillmans’s works are shown in different formats . Some works are unframed with strips of sticky tape and clippings, while others are framed or displayed in small Plexiglas frames.– The exhibition brings together works spanning 30 years of Wolfgang Tillmans’s artistic career.

Tillmans has been interested in music since his youth. He describes it as being an important form of expression for him. Early in his career, he became aware of music as a connective medium with its own language and the ability to make a strong political statement. The techno scene of the early 1990s left a deep mark on him. During the past three years, Tillmans has been involved in collaborative ventures in the field of music, and he has his own band called Fragile. For the space at the Fondation Beyeler, Tillmans has designed an installation made up of a number of music videos he has created in recent years. 

Wolfgang Tillmans is very active on his Instagram account @wolfgang_tillmans, using it to draw attention to a range of issues, particularly political ones.

Biography

Wolfgang Tillmans was born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany. His work as an artist began when he was aged 20 and living in Hamburg. At the start of the 1990s he studied at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design, England. From 1992 to 2007 he lived mainly in London, before relocating to Berlin. Tillmans’ work has earned recognition and been exhibited around the world since the early 1990s.

Catalogue «Wolfgang Tillmans»

In his creative artistic work, Wolfgang Tillmans (*1968 in Remscheid) revolutionized the medium of photography in an unprecedented way and opened it up towards other media. Beginning in the early nineties, Tillmans documented the people and situations in his immediate surroundings in scenes from London, New York, or Berlin, creating the portrait of a new generation in a style-defining manner. Since the late nineties he has been creating a greater number of cameraless, abstract images that develop from his direct work with and on photographic paper, some of which acquire a sculptural, object-like character. He has also been developing innovative, anti-hierarchical installations of his photographs in space in exhibition contexts. This catalogue is published on the occasion of an extensive exhibition of Tillmans’s oeuvre at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel and arranges and groups his works in a fresh way.

305 pages with 383 illustrations
Edition Hardback
Size 24.5 x 30.5 cm

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#WolfgangTillmansAssignment in cooperation with This ain't art school

#WolfgangTillmansAssignment in cooperation with This ain't art school on the occasion of our «Wolfgang Tillmans» exhibition.

The pictures selected for the exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, and their installation in the twelve galleries of the museum, show how Tillmans uses the possibilities of photography to evoke visibility, and to develop a pictorial strategy that invests the perception of the world with a new, human quality. „Seeing per se means thinking about the world, and this actually takes place on different levels at the same time“, says Tillmans. Here is your assignment: Do something that Wolfgang Tillmans is actually doing constantly: Take photos that look at the world through fearless, open eyes and take the playful aspect seriously. Test, look, behold, probe with your eyes, comprehend things and depict what you have identified. Incorporate your feelings about the world. Please post your photos until September 3 using the hashtag #wolfgangtillmansassignment. The three best photos will be chosen by curator Theodora Vischer and by @thisaintartschool. An exhibition catalogue and a goodie bag are waiting for the three winners. 

«Fotografie wie ein grosser Soundtrack»

 Schweiz am Wochenende

«Das Auge ist eine Venusfalle»

NZZ

«Mit Rückgrat und einer Portion Punk»

Tages-Anzeiger und Der Bund

«Fühlen Sie das Sehen!»

Barfi.ch

«Alle Bilder wollen ja erst mal geliebt werden»

Zeit Magazin

«Manche Bilder sind zu laut, denen muss man misstrauen»

Stern

The exhibition «Wolfgang Tillmans» is being supported by: 

 

Beyeler-Stiftung

 

Hansjörg Wyss,
Wyss Foundation

 

LUMA Foundation