Wolfgang Tillmans - New Now London Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | Phillips

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  • "In my lens-based paper drop images I made the photographic paper itself my subject matter, creating images that are figurative and abstract at the same time. I liken them to mathematical functions. I can't calculate them, but a mathematician could describe exactly how their shapes happened through the tension of the paper and gravity. They are almost like scientific illustrations."
    —Wolfgang Tillmans

    The present work portrays a gracefully curled sheet captured in its beautiful and compelling interaction with abstraction of light and shadows. Tillmans uses a shallow depth of field, so that the interior shadows form an abstract haze, emphasised by the sharp edges of the paper. The unfocused background consists of similar neutral tones enhancing the ambiguity of the subject.

    • Provenance

      Donated by the artist

    • Artist Biography

      Wolfgang Tillmans

      German • 1968

      Since the early 1990s, Wolfgang Tillmans has pushed the boundaries of the photographic medium. Challenging the indexical nature traditionally associated with photography, his abstract and representational photographic bodies of work each in their own way put forward the notion of the photograph as object—rather than as a record of reality. While achieving his breakthrough with portraits and lifestyle photographs, documenting celebrity culture as well as LGBTQ communities and club culture, since the turn of the millennium the German photographer has notably created abstract work such as the Freischwimmer series, which is made in the darkroom without a camera.

      Seamlessly integrating genres, subject matters, techniques and exhibition strategies, Tillmans is known for photographs that pair playfulness and intimacy with a persistent questioning of dominant value and hierarchy structures of our image-saturated world. In 2000, Tillmans was the first photographer to receive the prestigious Turner Prize.

      View More Works

Property Sold to Benefit the Yinka Shonibare Foundation


Paper Drop (Passage) IV

signed, titled, inscribed, numbered and dated 'paper drop (passage) IV ph 12/2019 pr WT 02/2020 8/10+1 Wolfgang Tillmans' on the reverse
inkjet print on paper, in artist's frame
33.8 x 44 cm (13 1/4 x 17 3/8 in.)
Photographed in 2019 and printed in 2020, this work is number 8 from an edition of 10 plus 1 artist's proof.

Full Cataloguing

£7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for £18,900

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey
Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 15 December 2020