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.