Wolfgang Tillmans Changed What Photos Look Like

Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine:

Over the course of his 36-year career, the photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has created what I think of as a new sublime. His work conveys that the bigness of it all is no longer in God, the ceilings of the Renaissance, the grandeur of nature, or the allover fields of the Abstract Expressionists. Tillmans intuited that the sublime had shifted, had alighted on us. It’s in an overhead shot of friends wearing camo and military garb sprawled on the beach in a frondlike configuration and cradling one another — becoming a single organism with tentacles. It’s in a man holding a naked woman’s legs apart and looking below her exposed bush to the grassy dunes beyond. The people we see are often Tillmans’s friends: artists, musicians, designers, dancers. But these aren’t the usual club-kid, gay-bar, grunge-life photos. The rhapsodic rapport Tillmans has with his subjects gives his work a tenderness that seems almost sacred.

more here.