Wolfgang Tillmans at David Zwirner

Written by
Joseph Akel
The German photographer’s latest solo-exhibition finds the artist at the vanguard of the medium.



Installation view courtesy artist and David Zwirner.



Wolfgang Tillmans, “PCR”
David Zwirner Gallery, New York
September 16 – October 24, 2015


German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has made a name for himself with works that push at the boundaries of the medium, continually producing images that defy its conventions, both in terms of their composition and their display–notably his constellatory arrangement of photographs in varying sizes or his simplistic, often bare-bones approach to their display.

Taken as a whole, many regard Tillmans’s photographs as one ongoing narrative documenting his personal life. The subject matter for his current show, “PCR,” continues in that vein, with images ranging from the quotidian (a pile of laundry), the erotically subversive (a hand snaking up the shorts of another), to the sublime (a shaft of light illuminating a solitary floral stem). Included in the exhibition are sculptural works, as well as the film-installation, Instrument, 2015. To be sure, there is much in Tillmans’s work that is left for the viewer to interpret, but one thing that is surely not in doubt is Tillmans’s display of photographic memory.