Wolfgang Tillmans. Saturated Light
For almost thirty years, Wolfgang Tillmans has been creating new pictorial worlds of abstract photography with his Silver works, which sound out and compellingly expand the boundaries and representability of photographic processes. Brought together for the first time in one opulent artist’s book, Tillmans describes the pictures as ‘stained, impure, bright, unstable, exhausted, fugitive, smear, shimmer, as solid colours’. In addition to the pictures, Tillmans also shows images of the Silver works in exhibition settings: as elements of installations, for example at K21 in Düsseldorf in 2013 or as pure Silver installa-tions like those at Tate Britain in 2003, the Venice Biennial in 2009 or, most recently in 2020, at WIELS in Brussels.
An essay by art theorist Tom Holert discusses the philosophical, aesthetic, and material questions that Tillmans’s Silver pose on the one hand, while on the other hand the thought-provoking pictorial process itself sets in the room. A conversation between the artist and photo engineer Klaus Pollmeier delves into the innumerable photo-technical details, observations, and intentional as well as unintentional accidents that are at work in the formation process of the Silver pictures. [publisher's note]