Written by Mathieu Doublet.
The Museum of Modern Art will present Wolfgang Tillmans: To Look Without Fear, the artist’s first museum survey in New York, in the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions. Unique groupings of approximately 350 of Tillemans’s photographs, videos, and multimedia installations will be displayed according to a loose chronology throughout the Museum’s sixth floor. Informed by new scholarship and eight years of dialogue with the artist, the exhibition will highlight how Tillmans’s profoundly inventive, philosophical, and creative approach is both informed by and designed to highlight the social and political causes for which he has been an advocate throughout his career. From the outset of his career, Wolfgang Tillmans has revolutionized the prevailing conventions of photographic presentation, making connections between his pictures in response to a given context and activating the space of the exhibition by hanging photographs in a corner, above a doorframe, on a free-standing column, or next to a fire extinguisher. In developing his own language for these overall installations, Tillmans’s practice verges into a sculptural dimension. The decisive logic of his practice is a visual democracy, best summarized by his phrase “If one thing matters, everything matters.”