Since winning the Turner Prize in 2000 for his 1990s oeuvre of portraits and snapshots, German-born photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has increasingly gravitated towards the abstract and material-specific properties of his medium.
Following Blushes, the Freischwimmer series, and the monochromatic Silver series, his most recent abstract works of which the creased and folded Lighter series is perhaps the most significant. Treating the photograph, and especially photographic paper itself, no longer as a reproductive medium but rather as a material object. In Tillmans's "paper drop" photographs the paper's physical folds and curves are photographed to produce geometric, tactile compositions.
Other works oscillate more elusively between photograph and object, always thriving in the interplay. "For me, the abstract picture is already objective because it's a concrete object and represents itself," Tillmans observes "the paper onto which the picture is printed is for me an object, there is no separating the picture from that which carries it. That's why I like to show photographs sometimes framed and sometimes not, even just taped to the wall."
These most recent works are gathered for the first time in this book. Lighter also includes an extensive section of installation views--taken by Tillmans himself offering the reader a direct experience of the artist's visual cosmos as presented in recent exhibitions, including his last retrospective which was seen at various major venues in the United States.