Wolfgang Tillmans (B. 1968)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Wolfgang Tillmans (B. 1968)

Lutz & Alex, Schwanzgriff

Wolfgang Tillmans (B. 1968)
Lutz & Alex, Schwanzgriff
inkjet print
this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, signed and dated 'Wolfgang Tillmans 3.9.93'; a colour match print of the present lot and a data CD
image: 71 1/8 x 53 ¼in. (180.5 x 135cm.)
sheet: 76 ½ x 54 3/8in. (194.3 x 138cm.)
Photographed in 1992 and printed in 2018, this work is number one from an edition of one plus one artist's proof

Other prints of this image are in the collections of:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York;
Tate, London;
Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1997.
W. Tillmans, ‘Like Brother Like Sister – A fashion story; no holds barred’, in i-D Magazine. The Sexuality Issue, no. 110, November 1992 (illustrated in colour, p. 84).
B. Riemschneider (ed.), Wolfgang Tillmans, Cologne 1995 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Wolfgang Tillmans. Wer Liebe wagt lebt morgen, exh. cat., Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 1996 (installation views of other editions illustrated in colour, pp. 138 and 142).
J. Verwoert, P. Halley and M. Matsui, Wolfgang Tillmans, London 2002 (illustrated in colour, p. 54; installation view of another edition illustrated in colour, p. 67).
Wolfgang Tillmans, exh. cat., Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, 2006 (installation view of another edition illustrated in colour, pp. 42-43).
J. Verwoert, P. Halley, M. Matsui and J. Burton, Wolfgang Tillmans, London 2014 (illustrated in colour, p. 53).
Cologne, Buchholz + Buchholz, wolfgang tillmans, 1993 (another edition exhibited).
London, Interim Art/ Maureen Paley, Wolfgang Tillmans, 1993 (another edition exhibited).
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New Photography # 12, 1996 (another edition exhibited).
New York, Anton Kern Gallery, Painting Photography and Drawing Group Show, 1997.
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Speaking with Hands: Photographs from the Buhl Collection, 2004 – 2006 (another edition exhibited; illustrated in colour, p. 191). This exhibition later travelled to Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Essen, Folkwang Museum; St. Petersburg, Russian Museum and Moscow, Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2012 (another edition exhibited).
Bogotá, Museo del Banco de la República, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2012 – 2013 (another edition exhibited).
Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2012 – 2013, pp. 121 and 126 (another edition exhibited; installation views illustrated in colour, pp. 60 and 61).
Düsseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein- Westfalen, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2013, p. 18 (another edition exhibited).
Basel, Fondation Beyeler, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2017 (another edition exhibited; illustrated in colour, p. 212).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Jeremy Morrison
Jeremy Morrison

Lot Essay

Both executed in 1992, Lutz & Alex, Schwanzgriff and Lutz & Alex sitting in the trees are among Wolfgang Tillmans’ most recognisable photographs. Lutz and Alex – who featured in some of the very first images Tillmans made as a teenager, and are members of a circle of close friends who recur in different situations and cities across decades of his work – star in two arresting compositions. In Lutz & Alex, Schwanzgriff, a topless Alex, wearing a Chanel scarf as a skirt, grips the naked genitals of Lutz, who sports a vest of what looks like insulation foam. Standing face-on against a white open sky, they gaze in opposite directions off-camera as if lost in thought, their dreamy expressions humorously at odds with their outlandish outfits and frank physical contact. In Lutz & Alex sitting in the trees, the pair perch on branches at different heights amid lush greenery, nude apart from large overcoats: Lutz’s in glossy red leather, and Alex’s a military khaki. Alex meets our gaze with a vivid directness, while Lutz looks towards the ground.

These striking photographs were shot on location on the Dorset coast for ‘Like Brother Like Sister’, an eight page photo story Tillmans published in the 1992 ‘Sexuality Issue’ of i-D magazine, for whom he had been working since 1989. The magazine’s UK distributor refused to stock the issue due to the story’s explicit content, and it was later recalled from sale. Despite their unflinching depictions of nudity, however, these photographs are more utopian than they are erotic. Dressing up and posing outdoors, Lutz and Alex exhibit a comfortable playfulness and assurance that captures something of the political edge of Tillmans’ work in the European fashion and club scenes: his images depict people who are part of a community but also totally free in their self-expression, moving among one another in physical and spiritual openness.

Tillmans’ ideal vision of his generation as a fabric of liberated individuals also parallels the display of his own work, in which single images recur in different scales and contexts as part of installations that juxtapose old and new work, constantly shifting size, character and impact as standalone photos and as part of a living, interconnected whole. Here, for example, Lutz & Alex, Schwanzgriff is presented in an inkjet print nearly two metres in height (unique plus one artist’s proof), while Lutz & Alex sitting in the trees is from an edition of three 70 x 60 centimetre prints. Whether framed, mass-produced on magazine pages or inkjet-printed on a grand scale, Tillmans’ images are treated as a plastic, ever-evolving material that allows growth, evolution and change, encountering and re-encountering one another like old friends who create something new each time they meet again.

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