Wolfgang Tillmans Freischwimmer 79 2004
The relationship between painting and photography is has also been explored by Wolfgang Tillmans in work made over the last decade or so. For Tillmans the work starts and ends with photographic process, but in making the images the fundamental notion of photography as drawing with light is used to make images that feel much closer to painting than photography. These are large-scale, painterly abstract pictures are made without a camera; the photographic paper simply records the light Tillmans directs at it. Though the images are abstract, there is a sense that these are drawings of moving light, somehow made liquid by the recording process. The images suggest a process of chemistry, or, more accurately perhaps given that there is a hint of the magical, of alchemy. Some of the pictures hint at strange underwater lifeforms. Hairlike strands move across the paper, often going in and out of focus as they do so. There is the visual complexity of a detailed drawing, yet there is a glow of empty space and a minimal colour palette.