Wolfgang Tillmans: Today Is The First Day / 01.02 – 24.05.2020



WIELS inaugurates 2020 with the first large-scale solo exhibition in Belgium of the artist Wolfgang Tillmans. Today Is The First Day presents work by the artist from the past three decades, while opening up onto the latest developments in his work, especially with sound, and revealing his engagement within the public realm. Exhibited over two floors, the presentation includes new photography, sound and video works in a spatial constellation, conceived especially by Tillmans for WIELS.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Wet Room, Gloves, 2010. Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Tillmans, one of the most influential artists of his generation, is known for pushing the limits of photography and image-making. Tillmans’ s ambition is nothing less than to capture the world we live in or, as he has said himself, to “make pictures that talk about what it feels like to be alive today.” From a large London round-about under construction to the Iranian underground scene, Tillmans invites us on a journey through our here and now, our contemporaneity. Like the ocean, which has neither beginning nor end, the present time is constantly agitated by contradictory movements—waves big and small clashing against each other, beneath and above the surface—that Tillmans brings to our attention in poetic ways. In so doing, he raises the question: when all is said and done, what exactly makes an image, an experience or an act political? As the social rights that were achieved in the course of the 1960s are being called into question, as waves of nationalism close people off into their own bubble, and as irrational beliefs supplant rationality in the way we see and make sense of the world, Tillmans’ project seems more essential and urgent than ever.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Wet Room, Gloves, 2010. Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue. Conceived and designed by Wolfgang Tillmans, and published in association with the exhibitions Rebuilding the Future, at IMMA, Dublin and Today Is The First Day, at WIELS, Brussels, this richly illustrated artist’s book explores the latest developments in Tillmans’s work over the last three years.

Curators: Devrim Bayar and Dirk Snauwaert

With the support of:

Kunststiftung NRW
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
Galerie Buchholz
Maureen Paley
Galerie Chantal Crousel
David Zwirner

And the Exhibition Circle Wolfgang Tillmans:

M. et Mme Michel et Joëlle Goethals,
M. Frédéric de Goldschmidt – Rothschild,
Bon Guillaume Kervyn de Volkaersbeke,
Mme Lucy Pereira,
Dhr. James Van Damme,
Dhr. Vincent Van Duysen,
M. Paolo Vedovi

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