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

April 7, 2023 - October 1, 2023

Located on the 5th floor.

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A major retrospective of artist Wolfgang Tillmans, shown for the first time in Canada, opens in Spring 2023. Tillmans’ photography ranges from intimate observations to incisive commentary on the shape of our world today. This momentous exhibition will feature ecstatic images of nightlife, sensitive portraits, architectural studies, documents of social movements, still lifes, astronomical phenomena and cameraless abstractions.

The exhibition will reveal the full breadth of Tillmans’ creative output to date, with photographs, video projections, sound installations and his ongoing project Truth Study Center on display.

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 and Acting Chief 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 with Marina Dumont-Gauthier, Curatorial Fellow, Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario.

Presented in collaboration with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival


Screening in Jackman Hall, Moon in Earthlight

Moon in Earthlight, 2021
4K video (colour, sound, 52 min. 55 sec.)
Insanely Alive (Pet Shop Boys Radio Edit), 2022
4K video (colour, sound, 3 min. 33 sec.)

Moon in Earthlight (2021) is the first full-length album by artist Wolfgang Tillmans. Composed of recordings made over the last four years—and produced primarily during the COVID-19 pandemic—it incorporates spoken word, ambient sound, and pulsating electronic beats, among other sonic elements.

Tillmans created a film to accompany the music, featuring a range of imagery from hermit crabs on a beach to reflections cast by a disco ball. This interplay of sound and image—what the artist calls “audio photography”—underscores the performative nature of music and its role in bringing people together.

The album Moon in Earthlight is available on streaming services, CD, and vinyl.

Screening Schedule



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, with the final stop taking place at Art Twenty One and CCA, Lagos in 2022.


PAST EVENTS reusable block


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Wolfgang Tillmans in conversation
Sunday, September 17, 2 pm

Join artist Wolfgang Tillmans in conversation with University of Toronto Computer Science Professor Kyros Kutulakos and Astronomy Professor Suresh Sivanandam

Wolfgang Tillmans: Moon in Earthlight
September 27, 29, 30 and October 1

Moon in Earthlight, 20214K video (colour, sound, 52 min. 55 sec.), Insanely Alive (Pet Shop Boys Radio Edit), 2022, 4K video (colour, sound, 3 min. 33 sec.)

AGO Friday Nights: Celebrating New Exhibitions
Friday, May 26, 6 PM

Join us for the next in our series of AGO Friday Nights celebrating new contemporary exhibitions and artists.

Wolfgang Tillmans: Video Work
Wednesday September 6, 7 - 9:30 pm

Though best known as a photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans began experimenting with moving images in the 1980s, and he has been working in video consistently since t

Wolfgang Tillmans: To Look Without Fear
Wednesday, April 12, 6 pm

Join us for a special evening to celebrate the opening of internationally-renowned artist Wolfgang Tillmans' retrospective 

Member Exclusive
Special Events
Members' Access - Wolfgang Tillmans: To look without fear
Friday, April 7 - Tuesday, April 11, 2023

A major retrospective of artist Wolfgang Tillmans, shown for the first time in Canada.

Rapp Lecture on Contemporary Art: Wolfgang Tillmans
Thursday, March 30, 7 PM

Join artist Wolfgang Tillmans for a talk exploring his work in advance of his major retrospective,

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