Wolfgang Tillmans

Artist photographer and activist, now also with his first record under his belt

This year, thanks to Britain’s EU referendum, the politics inherent in Wolfgang Tillmans’s art transformed into full-blown activism. His pro-Remain, print-it-yourself poster campaign took the mobility that’s always underscored his project – photographs recontextualised in successive shows, images presented as unframed Xeroxes, globetrotting method – and gave it a sharp edge of urgency. The poster project, of course, took on a melancholy aspect after the votes were counted. But Tillmans didn’t lack for distraction. Besides a typically eventful exhibition schedule (his eighth show with Maureen Paley, his 12th with Daniel Buchholz, a dozen group shows), he released his first record (surging techno with vocals), collaborated with acclaimed singer Frank Ocean, continued to run his Berlin space Between Bridges and is now prepping a 2017 show for Tate Modern. Tillmans may work with digital imagery rather than darkrooms these days, but he’s forever developing and enlarging.