Wolfgang Tillmans brings portraits, landcapes, still lives and abstract work to the Serpentine

By Mark Sheerin | 25 June 2010
Photo of a group of party goers waking up on the floor of an empty flat

(Above) Wolfgang Tillmans, morning (2009). C-type print. Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

Exhibition: Wolfgang Tillmans, Serpentine Gallery, June 26 – September 19 2010

You can expect many different themes and many different sizes and formats at a show by Wolfgang Tillmans. His early interest in astronomy is reflected in his dispersed arrangements of photographs and he describes his installations as "constellations".

A sprawling new show at the Serpentine is the German artist's first major show in London since 2003. Some works are taped or pinned to the wall, others framed in wall-mounted cases, while others rest on horizontal study tables as if in a museum.

Tillmans still has a casual way of focussing the gaze, and it seems there is nothing to which he cannot turn his lens. Portraiture, landscapes and still lives all feature, along with a growing interest in abstraction and experiments with photographic process.

This is some way from the clubbing lifestyle photography with which he made his name in the 1990s. The identity politics of those times may still be in the mix, but so too now is a conceptual exploration of the techniques of the medium itself.

So the non-linear display strategy becomes a comment on the artform as a whole, as well as a way of setting up relationships between works.

Open 10am-6pm. Admission free. Visit Culture24 next week for our review of the show.

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