Wolfgang Tillmans, Park Work I, 2000

Wolfgang Tillmans' Poetic Abstraction

By Sotheby's

W olfgang Tilmans’ interest in photography as a medium goes beyond the camera. In 1998, he introduced abstraction into his work, moving into a new realm of visual language. These three unique works executed in 2000, Park I, II, III, belongs to the artist’s studies in the behavior of light and colour.

His time spent working in the darkroom led to beautiful prints such as these ones in which through a rich palette and deep tones he achieves a sense of disassociation from the real world and calls for a more sensitive experience of the work.

Tillmans does not try to manifest all of his ideas into one single image, but rather creates groupings where every print forms part of a greater conversation – usually in the form of a constellation. We chose therefore to group these three unique works Park I, II, III to form one sensory trip focusing on color and light. The abstract notion of what is portrayed allows for an intimate and open narrative which is solely up to the viewer to interpret.

My technical approach has always been that I want to approximate my pictures to what it feels like to look through my eyes.

Winning the Turner Prize in 2000 consecrated Wolfgang Tillmans as being at the forefront of art and his medium, becoming the first photographer to ever win the prestigious award. Prior to this, his work had been labelled as photojournalistic or even pertaining to the snapshot aesthetic. Tillmans’ subjects, them being clubbers, necks or flowers, may be seen as something belonging to the banal and common, yet his vision always elevates them due to his unbiased expression of curiosity and participation towards everyday life.

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