Wolfgang Tillmans - Nachtstilleben

Wolfgang Tillmans - Nachtstilleben - image-1
Wolfgang Tillmans - Nachtstilleben - image-1

Wolfgang Tillmans


Chromogenic print. 27.1 x 40.7 cm (30.5 x 40.7 cm). Signed, dated, titled and editioned in pencil on the verso. Print 1 from an edition of 10 (+ 1 A.P.). - Framed under glass.

With his still lifes, Tillmans works entirely in the tradition of European art history: the first autonomous still lifes were created around 1600, and their popularity and dissemination culminated in Dutch painting style of the 17th and 18th centuries. The still life usually comprises the depiction of lifeless or still objects, mostly arranged according to formal aesthetic aspects: prepared dishes, (dead) animals, flowers and fruits belong to the prevalent iconography. In most of his still life photographs, the latter are also part of Tillmans' picture theme. However, this does not apply to here presented Nachtstillleben: the French nature morte would be the more suitable name here, since all objects are lifeless in the truest sense of the word. Even the dried stem of a lily of the valley, the only reminiscence of nature, appears here as a vanitas symbol. The things gathered together on a windowsill - as is so often the case with Tillmans - are not only lifeless, they are also completely worthless - a seemingly chaotic accumulation of rubbish consisting of spilled cigarette ash, an empty fast food package, a glass with extinguished cigarette butts, some electrical waste.
Regardless of the impression that may be irritating at first glance due to the unusual motifs, the composition of the still life can nevertheless be described as profoundly aesthetic, indeed almost painterly. The photographer's artistic view is revealed here. The surface structure determined by parallel images, the finely tuned, essentially subdued white tones in the foreground, the monochrome black-blue in the area of the window surfaces and the individual dashes of red in the water glass, as well as the skilful placement of this water glass as the only colour accent in the golden section of the picture, which is important for the overall composition, bear witness to Tillman's deeply rooted basic artistic understanding.


Wolfgang Tillmans, exhib.cat. Moderna Museet, Stockholm i.a., Mölnlycke 2012, n.pag., ill.

Lot 29 D

8.000 € - 10.000 €

7.440 €