green branches in front of an orange background

Icestorm (2001). Image courtesy of the artist, David Zwirner, New York / Hong Kong, Galerie Buchholz, Berlin / Cologne, Maureen Paley, London

Wolfgang Tillmans: To look without fear

Opens Spring 2023

Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.


Influential German artist Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968) has made his mark with photographs that range from intimate observations of his daily life – be they banal, joyful, melancholy, erotic – to incisive commentary on the shape of our world today. Driven by playfulness as well as his social consciousness, Tillmans advocates for a visual democracy, declaring: ““if one thing matters, everything matters.”

Featuring more than 300 hundred portraits, landscapes and abstract, chemical experimentations, installed in a loosely chronological fashion, this momentous exhibition, the first of his work in Canada, reveals the full range of Tillmans’s creative output to date, including photographs; video projections; sound installations; and tabletop presentations of documents and ephemera.

Wolfgang Tillmans: To look without fear is organized by The Museum of Modern Art.


The exhibition is organized by Roxana Marcoci, The David Dechman Senior Curator, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, with Caitlin Ryan, Curatorial Assistant, and Phil Taylor, former Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art

The AGO presentation is organized by Sophie Hackett, Curator, Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario.


Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany, Wolfgang Tillmans studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in Bournemouth, England, from 1990 to 1992. Relentlessly pushing to find ways to make new pictures in our image-saturated world, Tillmans has, throughout his career, explored and integrated photography’s many genres, techniques and presentation strategies.

In 2000, Tillmans was the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize, an award given annually by Tate in London. In recent years, Tillmans has been more directly involved in political activism. In tandem with his ongoing Truth Study Center project (begun in 2005), he has created posters for the anti-Brexit campaign in Britain and in response to right-wing populism in Germany. Fragile, a major touring solo exhibition of the artist’s work, opened in 2018 at the Musée d’Art Contemporain et Multimédias in Kinshasa and continues to travel throughout Africa.


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