German artist Wolfgang Tillmans is currently preparing for his sixth solo exhibition at Regen Projects. Tillmans will present compelling new pictures of his familiar territories, including London, Berlin, and New York intermixed with images from his recent world travels. As in his first exhibition at Regen Projects, the color prints and large inkjet prints will be unframed and taped or clipped to the wall in a primarily linear, non-hierarchical installation.
This will be the artist’s first show at the gallery since 1995 of exclusively camera-based works. For two decades, Tillmans has pushed the limits of photography exploring the correlation between camera-less abstraction and figuration. With advancements in technology, the camera is now able to capture and convey information in a manner not previously possible when Tillmans began his practice. While the possibilities of digital imaging techniques are often put to use to cover up and create a fantasy version of reality, Tillmans searches for clarity through a double-sided investigation of simultaneous observation and utilization. On the one hand, the photographs of natural phenomena, such as the night sky picture taken from an aircraft over the Atlantic (Inflight Astro (ii), 2010) and a waterfall (Iguazu, 2010) with infinite frozen detail, were only realizable through the use of a digital camera. On the other hand pieces like Times Square LED, 2010 and TGV, 2010 featuring building size moving advertising displays and high-speed trains make new technological development their subject matter. Combining these poignant fragments of his experience of the world, Tillmans creates a crystallized view of our multisided reality, achieving what can be described as an updated version of modernity.
“The art of Tillmans is multi-allusive, in both the extent of the subject matter and his treatment of photography as medium. From astronomy to portraiture, to luxuriant yet minutely poised studies of light on photographic paper, he creates a cosmology of images, tirelessly refining – as artist, editor, installer and curator – the semiotic chemistry of their interrelationship to one another. In this,Tillmans, locates the visual equivalent of Proust’s ‘mot juste’, identifying not simply the most eloquent images, in terms of colour, composition, mood, texture, light and emotional pulse, but those that appear to posses their own sentient meaning. For Tillmans, one feels, the potentiality of the photographic image is intimately related, at a profound level of empathetic understanding and philosophical awareness, to the messy but complicated business of being alive.”
(Michael Bracewell. “Everywhere, all the time and at once: the art of Wolfgang Tillmans” inWolfgang Tillmans, published by Serpentine Gallery, London and Koenig Books, London, 2010)
Wolfgang Tillmans / Regen Projects II / 9016 Santa Monica Boulevard / Los Angeles, CA 90069 / March 12