Maureen Paley is pleased to announce Wolfgang Tillmans’ seventh solo show at the gallery. For the last few years Tillmans has been working on his Neue Welt project, extending his photographic study to diverse global territories while developing ways of capturing and printing his imagery with advanced digital technology. This new exhibition is both a departure from Neue Welt as well as an extension of that vision. central nervous system presents a renewed exploration into portraiture for Tillmans and focuses on a single subject throughout the show. This new collection of images has not been exhibited before and is as much an intimate portrait of a nuanced relationship as it is a portrait of Tillmans himself.
I believe in all hallucinations. I believe in all mythologies, memories, lies, fantasies and evasions. I believe in the mystery and melancholy of a hand, in the kindness of trees, in the wisdom of light.
JG Ballard, 1984
It is in this spirit that the artist’s work emerges from a place of honesty and intensity. Tillmans openly presents his ongoing friendship and unrequited love that is compelling, adventurous and vulnerable in equal measure.
Making a portrait is a fundamental artistic act and the process of it is a very direct human exchange. The dynamics of vulnerability, exposure, embarrassment and honesty do not change, ever. I’ve found that portraiture is a good leveling instrument for me and it always sends me back to square one.
Wolfgang Tillmans, 2001
Having pioneered a conceptual approach to the production and installation of photographic material for over two decades his most recent work experiments with new developments in inkjet printing that allow the incredible sharpness of his images to look hyper-real and yet painterly. The colour tones he is now able to achieve reflect the glossy, metallic and unreal Ballardian landscapes of our times and his often, huge digital prints present a world that is both mundane and dramatic, familiar and alien. Tillmans illuminates the quotidian and shows us the world as it is, highlighting its often overlooked strangeness and beauty.
Born in Remscheid, Germany in 1968, Wolfgang Tillmans lives and works in Berlin and in London. He studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design, graduating in 1992. Tillmans is currently an Artist Trustee on the Board of Tate, London.
Recent major solo exhibitions include, in 2013, Neue Welt, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago de Chile, Chile; Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru; Kunstsammlung NRW (K21), Düsseldorf, Germany and Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogota, Columbia. In 2012, Neue Welt, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland; Museo de Arte Moderna, São Paulo and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
His work is represented internationally in collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Tillmans won the Turner Prize in 2000.
Wolfgang Tillmans work is presented in significant monographs including; Neue Welt: Wolfgang Tillmans, Taschen, 2012; Wolfgang Tillmans: Abstract Pictures, Hatje Cantz, 2011; Wolfgang Tillmans: Lighter, Hatje Cantz, 2008; Wolfgang Tillmans: Manual, Walther König, 2007 and truth study center, Taschen, 2005.