Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review : Wolfgang Tillmans 2017 at Tate Modern – 15th February to 11th June 2017

Exhibition Review : Wolfgang Tillmans 2017 at Tate Modern – 15th February to 11th June 2017


Wolfgang Tillmans is considered one of the most exciting and innovative artists working today. Tate Modern presents an exhibition concentrating on his production across different media since 2003.


Since 2003, Tillmans has worked in a wide range of media and this exhibition considers his work in photographs, video, digital slide projections, publications, curatorial projects and recorded music.


Wolfgang Tillmans was born in Germany in 1968 but has lived in the UK since the late 1980s, he first came to public prominence when he became the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize in 2000.


The exhibition is not a retrospective, it follows Tillmans interest in social and political issues since 2003. A tangible representation of Tillmans’ political interest was the creation of his tabletop installations in 2005, within the exhibition is tables full of newspaper cuttings, photographs and pamphlets which illustrate how news is manipulated according to the political interest that is producing it.


Perhaps as a response against the manipulation of images, Tillmans began using digital photography and travelled extensively to capture images of the commonplace and the extraordinary, photographing people and places across the world for the series Neue Welt 2009 – 2012.


In 2014, Tillmans began to become interested and created works of abstraction, including Sendeschluss / End of Broadcast I 2014 which is based on images the artist took of an analogue TV losing signal. Other works include the Blushes series made without a camera by manipulating the effects of light directly on photographic paper.


Another interest of Tillmans is music especially the dance and techno scene, in his Playback Room project, first shown at his Berlin exhibition space Between Bridges, visitors can experience music by Colourbox at the best possible quality. The video installation Instrument 2015 shows Tillmans dancing to a soundtrack made by manipulating the sound of his own footsteps, while in the Tanks Studio his slide projection Book for Architects 2014 is being shown for the first time in the UK.


Wolfgang Tillmans 2017 is a fascinating exhibition that brings together many strands of the artist’s work. Tillmans is concerned about finding ‘honesty’ in its different forms, in many ways this is a response to the digital age where it has never been easier to manipulate everything. The recent political debates about ‘fake news’ overlooks the fact that most news is manufactured as illustrated by Tillmans’ study centres.

Our Video review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

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