Chisenhale Poster 1997
841 x 595 mm
Edition of 500
Typography by Scott King
Chisenhale Gallery presents a special limited edition artwork by Wolfgang Tillmans, the second in the Anniversary Editions series.
The Anniversary Editions series celebrates Chisenhale Gallery’s historic exhibitions programme, highlighting seminal solo shows that the gallery has commissioned, produced and presented since the early 1980s. Marking 20 years since his 1997 exhibition I Didn’t Inhale, Tillmans’ edition is a reproduction of the original A1 poster that accompanied his Chisenhale Gallery exhibition.
Taken from his Concorde series, the poster shows the aeroplane ascending through a clouded British sky – a symbol of techno-utopia rising above the landscape. Describing Concorde’s significance, Tillmans wrote at the time, “to watch it in air, landing or taking-off is a strange and free spectacle, a super modern anachronism and an image of the desire to overcome time and distance through technology.” Reproduced twenty years later, the optimism captured in Tillmans’ photograph gains poignancy – representing past hopes for an unrealised future.
Opening at Chisenhale Gallery on 6 June 1997, I Didn’t Inhale comprised a body of new and previously unseen photographs. Engaging with the art historical genres of still life, landscape, portraiture and abstraction, Tillmans’ photographs subverted these categories, depicting everyday objects and scenes and fragile human forms. Pinned or taped directly onto the walls, the unframed images challenged conventional methods of exhibiting photography. In conjunction with the show, Tillmans published Concorde, a book of photographs, in which the Chisenhale Poster image appears. The book, which is currently out of print, is also republished this year.
I Didn’t Inhale marked a definitive moment in Tillmans’ career, catalysing his rise to prominence in the late 1990s and predating his Turner Prize success in 2000. Since his Chisenhale Gallery exhibition, Tillmans has continued to make work that challenges the photographic canon, combining sculpture, sound, video, performance and curatorial projects. Drawing on his critical engagement with social issues, Tillmans’ work portrays both intimacy and political urgency. This year, he is celebrated in major exhibitions at Tate Modern and the Fondation Beyeler, securing his reputation as one of the most innovative artists of his generation.
Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968, Remscheid, Germany) lives and works in Berlin and London. He has exhibited extensively across the world and in 2017 has major solo exhibitions at Tate Modern, London, UK; Foundation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland and Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany. Other solo shows include Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2016); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf, Germany, 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); Serpentine Gallery, London and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK (2010). His work has been included in significant group exhibitions including 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); the 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). In 2016, he launched a pro-European Union poster campaign in response to the British referendum. He continues to run Between Bridges, a non-profit exhibition space that opened in London in 2006, relocating to Berlin in 2013. Tillmans was awarded the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2015, the Kulturpreis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie in 2009, and the Turner Prize in 2000, the first photographer and non-British artist to receive the award. In 2013 he became a Royal Academician, and between 2009 and 2014 he served as a Tate trustee.