A detail view of one out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.
Wolfgang Tillmans
A photograph of Wolfgang Tillmans by Dan Ipp.

Wolfgang Tillmans. Photo by Dan Ipp
Pictured above: Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (detail)

Wolfgang Tillmans. Photo by Dan Ipp
Pictured above: Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (detail)

Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968) has contended with the boundaries of the photographic medium since the early 1990s. In his ongoing paper drop series, photo paper acts as both material and subject matter: the sheet is folded onto itself in a delicate teardrop shape and photographed with a very shallow depth of field.

Tillmans brings together five paper drops in this installation designed for four walls, allowing their similarities and differences to resonate with one another. The images appear both abstract and representational, self-reflexively acknowledging the medium’s physicality and ephemerality.

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An installation of photographs by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, from 2019

Wolfgang Tillmans

paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019
Five inkjet prints on paper, clips
Each: 54 3/8 x 81 1/2 inches
138 x 207 cm
Overall installation size: 24 x 36 feet
8 x 12 m
A detail view of one out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

A detail view of one out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

A detail view of one out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

A detail view of one out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

A detail view of one out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, titled paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019 (individual views)

“One evening in 2000, I was walking around my studio and I had this realization that everything I do is on paper. Soon after I made a picture of this big sheet of red photo paper, which I hung attached only on one corner. I observed how it curled and how the sharp sunlight brushed it, and how this paper was sort of falling. That’s how the name paper drop came about,” says the artist. “I always understood photography as objects, not just flat surfaces.”

An installation view of three out of five inkjet prints on paper by Wolfgang Tillmans, comprising a work titled, paper drop (passage) I-V, dated 2019.

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019

Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (passage) I-V, 2019

Installation view of the exhibition Wolfgang Tillmans, at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, dated 2013.

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2013

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2013

Installation view of the exhibition Wolfgang Tillmans, at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, dated 2017.

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, 2017

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, 2017

Installation view of the exhibition, Wolfgang Tillmans: Fragile, at Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, dated 2018.

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans: Fragile, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, 2018

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans: Fragile, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, 2018

Installation view of the exhibition, Wolfgang Tillmans: Your Body is Yours, at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, dated 2015.

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans: Your Body Is Yours, National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2015

Installation view, Wolfgang Tillmans: Your Body Is Yours, National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2015


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