In collage-like hangings Wolfgang Tillmans collects snapshots of everyday occurrences and objects in order to accentuate the ever-present aesthetic that we tend to overlook.
(Untitled) Las Vegas, 2000
DescriptionA somewhat blurry section of a seemingly infinite cityscape has been photographed from above, the shining grid of the city tracing a geometric pattern. Far off the city is bounded by a mountain crest with a few low clouds scattered on an otherwise cloudless dusk sky. The colours are greyish green, broken by a series of gleaming lines and marks spread across the picture's surface.
About the work
The picture appears to be a snapshot taken out of the window of an aeroplane coming in or taking off from the rapidly expanding desert city Las Vegas. It looks casual but Tillmans has probably, as usual, carefully selected the time and place for this picture.
He often photographs landscapes from above, making us see more overall structures present in the emerging abstraction of the picture. For instance the city's shining grid is a clear contrast to the organic formations of the mountains and the clouds. The colours too allow Tillmans to work with juxtapositions: the dominant yet subdued greyish green tint is set against the dynamic and haphazard bright lines in the picture.
Tillmans' art in general
Tillmans photographs an abundance of subjects, still lifes with fruit, portraits, everyday objects, landscapes, interiors; some of them snapshots, others meticulously arranged in classical compositions. The pictures alternate between colourful photographs with glossy surfaces (cibachrome) and cheap prints (inkjet) which Tillmans exhibit together. Typically a work comprises several pictures, mixing genres and print types, thus creating unorthodox, aesthetic juxtapositions.
"Wolfgang Tillmans View from Above" (Zdenek Felix)
Hatje Cantz Publishers, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2002
"Wolfgang Tillmans" (Jan Verwoert, Peter Halley og Midori Matsui), Phaidon Press, London, 2002
Wolfgang Tillmans took up photography on a larger scale during a stay in Hamburg, exhibiting the pictures in cafés and bars. Subsequently he sent his pictures from.....