IMMA is delighted to present this keynote lecture by renowned writer and curator Mark Godfrey in response to the IMMA exhibition – Wolfgang Tillmans, Rebuilding the Future. Godfrey surveys Tillmans’ distinctive approach to photography, connecting the forms of Tillmans’ work to his political concerns, relating Tillmans’ abstract photographs to his understanding of social and economic realities, and exploring his approach to exhibitions and publications.
Tracing the significance of Tillmans’ work within the wider history of contemporary art practice, Godfrey examines ideas that inform the artist’s worldview of community, sociability, empathy and vulnerability in dealing with some of the most pressing issues regarding our social life and the role of the artist. This lecture draws on Godfrey’s extensive research / writing on Tillmans’ work in relation to the major exhibition, 2017 at the Tate Modern.
Mark Godfrey is an art historian, art critic, and is currently Senior Curator (International Art) at Tate Modern. He has curated major exhibitions there including Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (2017), the Turbine Hall commission by Abraham Cruzvillegas, and retrospectives of Roni Horn, Francis Alys, Alighiero E Boetti, Richard Hamilton, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. He won the Absolut Prize for Art Criticism in 2015 and was a jury member in the Venice Biennial in 2017. He has contributed regularly to frieze, OCTOBER, Artforum and other publications.
Read more of Godfrey’s writing here.
Wolfgang Tillmans (b. Remscheid, Germany,1968) lives and works in Berlin and London. He graduated from Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in 1992. He has won numerous awards including the Turner Prize, UK (2000), the Cultural award of the German Society for Photography (2009), the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, Sweden (2015) and the Goslar Kaiserring Award, Germany (2018). From 2009-2014 he was an Artists Trustee on the Board of Tate, London. From 2003 to 2009 he was Professor for Interdisciplinary Art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In 2006 he opened Between Bridges, a not-for-profit exhibition space in London that now operates in Berlin.
Recent major solo exhibitions have been held at Musée d’Art Contemporain et Multimédias, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Circle Art Gallery and GoDown Arts Centre Nairob, Kenya, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa (2018); Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, Tate Modern, London (2017); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2016); The National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka, Japan and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf, Germany and Les Rencontres d’Arles, France and Museo de Arte de Lima (2013); Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2012); Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2011) and Serpentine Gallery, London (2010).
His work has been included in significant survey exhibitions including the 5th Biennale of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece (2015), Manifesta 10, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2014), Fundamentals, the 14th International Architecture Biennale directed by Rem Koolhaas, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2014), Berlin Biennale, Germany (2014, 1998), the British Art Show 5 and 7, UK (2000, 2010); the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2009) and the 51st and 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy (2005, 2009).
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