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Basic data

Wolfgang Tillmans is a renowned German photographer and artist who came to prominence in the 1990s He is famous for his documentary and abstract works, which often depict everyday scenes and objects in unusual, haunting ways.

  • Born: August 16, 1968
  • Place of birth: Remscheid, Germany
  • Nationality: German
  • Studied at: Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design
  • Similar artists: Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Jenny Holzer
  • Era: Contemporary art

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Wolfgang Tillmans was born in Remscheid, Germany in 1968 and developed an early interest in photography. He moved to London in 1990 to study at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design. Tillmans gained recognition in the 1990s for his work documenting everyday life and youth culture, particularly in the club scene. In 1997, Tillmans became the first non-British and also the first photographer to win the prestigious Turner Prize.

Throughout his career, Tillmans has employed a variety of techniques and approaches, including prints, digital prints, tabletop setups, and spatial installations. In the process, he has created both figurative and abstract works. In addition to his art, Tillmans is also known as an activist and has championed a variety of political and social issues. Today, the artist lives and works in Berlin and London. His works are exhibited worldwide.



  • 30.06.2023 - 18.02.2024 Deep Deep Down - MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg.
  • 15.03.2023 - 14.01.2024 On Stage. Die Kunst als Bühne - MUMOK Wien, Vienna.
  • 07.03.2023 - 11.06.2023 Was tun mit der Welt? - HKW - Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
  • 14.12.2022 - 07.03.2023 The Fest - Zwischen Repräsentation und Aufruhr MAK Wien, Vienna.
  • 12.09.2022 - 01.01.2023 Wolfgang Tillmans - To look without fear - MOMA - The Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
  • 18.02.2022 – 18.02.2024 something new, something old, something desired – Hamburger Kunsthalle.


  • 2000: Turner Prize, London, UK
  • 2009: Culture Award by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie
  • 2015: Hasselblad Foundation Award
  • 2018: Goslarer Kaiserring, Germany
  • 2018: Federal Cross of Merit, Germany



  • If One Thing Matters - A Film about Wolfgang Tillmans, Documentary, Heiko Kalmbach, 72 min, Germany 2008.



  • Tillmans. Reader, Roxana Marcoci, Phil Taylor, Berlin 2023.
  • Wolfgang Tillmans - Perspektive. to look without fear, Roxana Marcoci, Cologne 2022.
  • Wolfgang Tillmans - View from above, Felix Zdenek, Ostfildern-Ruit 2001.


Own writings

  • Wolfgang Tillmans. Manual, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cologne 2007.