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Wolfgang Tillmans, Truth Study Center [Paperback]

Minoru Shimizu , Wolfgang Tillmans

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Book Description

30 Sep 2005
The underbelly of the world and the pursuit of impossible truth. In his third Taschen book, celebrated artist photographer and winner of the 2000 Turner Prize Wolfgang Tillmans takes his exploration of the visible world to a new level. The title "Truth Study Center" is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the paradox of our desire to find a universal truth and the impossibility of doing so. From evocative nude studies and candid personal portraits of Tony Blair to astronomical views of planet Venus passing over the disc of the sun, for the first time the full width of Tillman's world is brought together in one book. Also included is an extensive selection of striking new abstract works, which through their vivid colors and compositions evoke bodily as well as atmospheric sensations. From nightlife to still life, Tillmans shows us another side of the world we live in today. This is edited and designed by Tillmans himself.

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About the Author

Wolfgang Tillmans was born in Remscheid, Germany in 1968 and studied at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work, whilst appearing to capture the immediacy of the moment and character of the subject, also examines the dynamics of photographic representation. From the outset he ignored the traditional separation of art exhibited in a gallery from images and ideas conveyed through other forms of publication, giving equal weight to both. His expansive floor to ceiling installations feature images of subcultures and political movements, as well as portraits, landscapes, still-lives and abstract imagery varying in scale from postcard- to wall-sized prints. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1996 and Tate Britain, London, in a major retrospective in 2003. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2000.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality explored for its many facets 23 Feb 2012
By C. B Collins Jr. - Published on
Tillmans subject matter could be said to be everything. In this monograph of his abundant photography, he explores the transit of the planet Venus across the sun as well as his photographs of celebrities in casual intimate settings and poses, as well as his daily life and the many people his existence. In a brief introductory statement, Tillmans tells us that the next transit of Venus will take place June 12, 2012.

The photographs that Tillmans takes of friends transport intimate knowledge to public observable knowledge and it is obvious in many of the photos that the friends and associates are fully aware of this transport from the intimate to the public. The exceptions may be the sleeping nudes, but even these require some acknowledgement by the subject that this private act is to become public exhibition.

I think there is a gay sensibility to most of Tillmans' work, particularly the photographs of friends. Whereas there are some nude male photographs and some photographs in gay nightclubs, it is the more intimate portraits of friends that have the strongest gay sensibility for the message and relationship is implied, suggested, and not broadcasted. Tillmans is gay and he chronicles the many events and encounters and relationships of gay existence.

The still-life is a theme Tillmans explores in a style that might be called discovery rather than composition. Whereas he may manipulate the objects in the still-life, there are accidental elements that reflect a lived existence, an intimate connection to the objects in the photograph, a hidden narrative that makes the work fresh and witty. He also reveals in many of these photographs that he is a colorist of the first order, for color is evident and becomes foreground rather than background in many of the compositions. The color is beautiful and can't be ignored in many of these still-life compositions. There is lightness to his still-life images, as if they blow away immediately after being photographed.

The interiors actually have much in common with the still-life compositions and frequent are wrecked rooms full of broken furniture and soft-drink bottles. There certainly is implied narration in these images and yet the narrative is elusive, there just are not enough hints. The cityscapes are document full of pattern, for it seems to be the honey comb patterns of city existence that he captures in his precise cityscape compositions.

The work among friends is ambivalent. It is not necessarily a chronological pictorial diary of his experience, for the photographs have the quality of art rather than the quality of diary. He selects the photographs not to capture a memory but to convey an image of interest. His photography when seen in large number of images express a broad visual language and concern. There is fascination to be found here.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great works by Tillmans 18 Feb 2013
By Carlitony - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love the works by Wolfgang Tillmans that have been included in this book. A must have if you like his work. I only wish Taschen had been a bit more creative in the binding and production of the book but I would definitely recommend it.
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