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Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany.
Lives and works in London and Berlin.
Throughout his career Wolfgang Tillmans has challenged the potentiality of making pictures and has brought a new kind of subjectivity to photography. He explores traditional genres such as portraiture, still life, or landscape with a constant interest in the limits of visibility by pairing intimacy and playfulness with social critique — thus questioning the existing values and hierarchies. Through the integration of genres, subjects, techniques, and exhibition strategies, Tillmans expands conventional ways of approaching photography and addresses the fundamental question of what it means to create pictures in an increasingly image-saturated world.
In 2000, he was the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize, from Tate, London. From 2003 to 2009, Tillmans served as a professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. Tillmans was the recipient of the 2015 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography and in January 2018, he was awarded the Kaiserring prize from the city of Goslar in Germany.
The Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, welcomed Wolfgang Tillmans for a major solo exhibition in 2021. The Museum of Modern Art, New York opened a survey exhibition in 2022.
He has also had solo exhibitions at MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New-York (2022); mumok, Wien (2021); Wiels Brussels (2020); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2019); Carré d'art, Musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes (2018); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2017); Tate Modern, London (2017); Fundação de Serralves, Porto (2016); The National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka (2015); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2014); Museo de Arte de Lima (2013); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2012); Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art (2012); Serpentine Gallery, London (2010); Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2008); Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2006); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporanea, Mexico (2006); Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’arte contemporanea (2002); Museum Ludwig, Koln (2001) and the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid (1998) among others.
Wolfgang Tillmans was also featured in several international group shows and Biennales such as The Kitchen, New York (2020); Barbican Centre, London (2020); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2019); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2019); MMK Frankfurt (2018); Villa Medici, Rome (2018); Kunsthaus Zürich (2018); Aishti Foundation (2017); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2016); CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux (2016); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2015); MANIFESTA 10, St Petersburg (2014); 14th International Architecture, Central Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2014); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2014); New Museum, New York (2013); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2013); Tate Britain, London (2012); Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou (2011); Les Rencontres d’Arles 2010; Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2010); Turin Triennial (2008); Museum Ludwig, Koln (2007); Kunstmuseum, Basel (2005).
His works have joined the collections of the Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Des Moines Art Center; Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Kunstmuseum Basel; Kyoto National Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux; Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), Luxembourg; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (MAXXI), Rome; Museum Ludwig, Koln; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Britain, London; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.