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Tillmans, Wolfgang (b. 1968)  
page: 1  2  

In 2000, Tillmans was awarded the esteemed Turner Prize. Given to a British artist under 50, the Turner Prize is among the most prestigious awards in the visual arts, and Tillmans was the first photographer to receive it. The award to Tillmans generated controversy over whether the Turner Prize should be awarded to an artist not born in Britain. However, the director of the Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota, strongly defended the decision to award Tillmans the prize.

Tillmans' second major mid-career retrospective (the first was at the Tate Britain in 2003) toured the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of Washington, D. C. in 2006.

Although many of Tillmans' images are rooted in his own experience, the photographer cautions that they are not to be read as a diary of his life or even of the lives of those close to him.

In an interview with Peter Halley, Tillmans explains how a viewer should experience his work: "The viewer should be encouraged to feel close to their own experiences of situations similar to those that I've presented to them in my work. They should enter my work through their own eyes, and their own lives--not through trying to piece together mine." Tillmans thus emphasizes the role of art in helping each viewer create and affirm his or her own identity, even as he denies his own presence in his images.

Tillmans has published twenty-one collections of his photographs. He has overseen the image order and design of nineteen of these collections. He is currently represented by the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York.

J. Marcus Weekley

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Ault, Julie, et al., eds. Wolfgang Tillmans. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Halley, Peter. "Interview: Peter Halley in Conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans." Wolfgang Tillmans. Peter Halley, ed. London: Phaidon Press, 2002. 13-33.

Tillmans, Wolgang. Burg. Cologne: Taschen, 1998.

_____. Concorde. Cologne: Walther König, 1997.

_____. if one thing matters, everything matters. London: Tate Publishing, 2003.

_____. Portraits. Cologne: Walther König, 2001.

_____. Soldiers: The Nineties. Cologne: Walther König, 1999.

"Turner Prize History: 1997-2001." Tate Britain Website. (2006):

Watney, Simon. "Introduction." Wolfgang Tillmans. Burkhardt Riemschneider, ed. Cologne: Taschen, 1995. 4-5.


    Citation Information
    Author: Weekley, J. Marcus  
    Entry Title: Tillmans, Wolfgang  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated August 16, 2011  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  


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