Wolfgang Tillmans, "Summer Storm Rain Drops Freeze Frame”, installation view Galerie Buchholz, Berlin 2024
Wolfgang Tillmans: Summer Storm Rain Drops Freeze Frame
Apr 26 – Jul 13, 2024
Galerie Buchholz
Berlin, Germany

Wolfgang Tillmans has devoted himself to creating pictures that negotiate between the things he makes, the things he finds, and the choices he makes recording, preserving, and translating the three-dimensionality of the material world. Tillmans’s new exhibition at Galerie Buchholz attests to his ongoing interest in this significant aspect of his practice: the recording of materiality and sculptural forms in his work.

While rooted in the material world, Tillmans’s works are the result of an interplay of optical translations of matter, which the artist transforms through the technological use of the camera. Under his gaze, purposeful objects cease to have their specific functionality and are morphed into sculptural objects of meditation, pointing beyond their intended purpose: a steel urinal radiates sensations of texture and reflection; a large, seemingly stranded, freight container, exhibited at a 1:1 scale, invites us to look at its sheer presence and mediate on its size, color, and shape; a gigantic advertising structure acts as pure material distortion; and a tower of brussel sprouts becomes an active element in an examination of play and scale in the making of a picture.

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Punctuating the exhibition are Tillmans’s Lighter works, which negotiate fundamental aspects of photographic image-making as they address the distribution of light and the distribution of space onto a given surface of paper. These folded chromogenic prints, which depict their own three-dimensional shape through shades and gradations of color, are the result of their own three-dimensional materiality exposed to light in the darkroom. Tillmans’s Lighter works always act like borders between two distinct areas of experience, of light meeting space, thereby creating color and depth through purely material means.

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