The show will centre on the studio as a working space in which his photographs are tested and produced for the first time, as well as the studio as social place, where Tillmans spends much of his life. A complex entity that influences the images in different ways. The exhibition will develop along pictures from that working space – studio pictures, still lifes and portraits. At the same time, such photographs provide starting points outlined in the exhibition through Tillmans’s extraordinary pictorial experiments and the pictorial inventions in which they result. At this point, music and film come into play as well.
Tillmans first made a name for himself in the early 1990s through today iconic photographs that captured the attitude of an entire generation and a youth culture of which he was part and which previously had no images of its own. However, he soon widened his focus more and more, experimenting with the means of photography to identify new images – works created with and without camera, photographs printed as C-prints on photographic paper, as inkjet prints on paper, or as photocopies.
Creating images at the edges of the visible lies at the heart of Tillmans’s art. He seeks to provoke visibility or, conversely, to obfuscate it. Since the late 1980s he has created an extraordinary and extremely influential body of work.
The exhibition is the first comprehensive engagement with the medium of photography at the Fondation Beyeler. In close cooperation with Wolfgang Tillmans, it will present an extensive selection of C-prints and inkjet prints as well as films and sound works.