Wolfgang Tillmans


The MCA is co-organizing the first survey of the German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans in the United States with the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. One of the most important and distinctive artists to emerge in the 1990s, his work is internationally recognized for its richly evocative and stylishly intimate reflection on the often overlooked objects and moments in everyday life. Much of his work concentrates on deceptively casual and unforced views of friends and acquaintances, catching them off-guard and at their most unguardedly “human.”

Tillmans presents his photographs in highly distinctive installations in which ink-jet prints are affixed in deliberate, yet seemingly random, arrangements on the walls in order to create a variety of physical and emotional relationships with the viewer based on placement and scale. The vast range of his images thus becomes an ongoing “palette” of sorts, which he uses repeatedly as a way to constantly rearrange and reinterpret his photographic vision. He has also frequently made discrete series of works that touch upon particular themes such as images of soldiers or views from the Concorde.

Tillmans’s presentation at the MCA features photographic and video works drawn from the entirety of his career. The exhibition is cocurated by Pamela Alper Associate Curator Dominic Molon and Russell Ferguson, Chief Curator, Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles.


Wolfgang Tillmans is co-organized by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibition is supported, in part, by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. The Hammer Museum's presentation is made possible, in part, by George Freeman, Stanley and Gail Hollander, Michael Rubel, and Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg, with additional support from Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard, the Joy and Jerry Monkarsh Family Foundation, and the British Council. Support for the Museum of Contemporary Art presentation is generously provided by Margot and George Greig and Sara Albrecht. Additional support is provided by Steven Johnson and Walter Sudol, Dirk Denison FAIA, Barbara and Jim Hanig, the Orbit Fund, and C. Bradford Smith and Donald L. Davis. The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, a part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts, is the official hotel of the Chicago presentation.

Air transportation is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art.