Goslar: Exhibition by Kaiserring awardee Wolfgang Tillmans

Until 27 January 2019, the Mönchehaus Museum in Goslar is showing an exhibition of Wolfgang Tillmans, who was awarded with the Goslar Kaiserring at the end of September 2018.

“Extraordinary exhibition venue”

The German artist, who now lives in London and Berlin, enjoys an excellent international reputation. In the Mönchehaus Museum, a 500-year-old half-timbered house, Tillmans is showing a selection of his art from recent decades.

The 50-year-old experiments with various forms of photographic expressions, including still lifes, portraits, landscape and sky photographs, but also with special copying techniques and forms of presentation. Own publications as well as videos and music productions further prove his versatility.

In a time of increasing complexity and polarization, Tillmans not only tries to capture special moments in his works, but also to show contrasts and contradictions. According to the international Kaiserring jury, he is driven by the great questions of truth, of gaining knowledge, of beauty, of friendship, of freedom …

“Poetry and Disillusionment”

He explained that for him it is a matter of exploring the boundaries of photography and balancing poetry with disillusionment. On his numerous travels he captured the diverse manifestations of our globalized world and the uniqueness of the different places.

Tillmans’ artistic work has been honoured in major exhibitions worldwide – most recently at Tate Modern in London. As he attentively followed the history of the Kaiserring for decades, hoping to become an awardee himself at some point, Wolfgang Tillmans was all the more delighted to receive the Kaiserring.

“To endure the truth and life”

In an interview about his visual language, Wolfgang Tillmans said: “I always have the desire (…) to encourage other people to trust their eyes and to endure the truth or life.” He is the 43rd Kaiserring awardee among whom such famous names as Olafur Eliasson, Jörg Immendorf, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Christo and Josef Beuys can be found.

“Poster campaign against Brexit”

Tillmans was born in Remscheid and was the first non-British photographer and artist to be awarded with the Turner Prize in 2000. He has been a member of the Royal Academy of Arts since 2013. Wolfgang Tillmans definitely sees himself as a political person. For example, he turned against Brexit with a large-scale poster campaign. He told the Spiegel – a German magazine – that it is important for Europe to reflect on what holds us together, not what separates us… Tillmans: “We have to stay awake, rather than seeing the cliché in the other.” Freedoms, values and rights cannot be taken for granted. “They’re under attack. They must be defended.”

Text, photos and design: Michael Hotop, Jochen Hotop