On Paper, July 9 – August 13, 2016
Tilman: Radio Vallebona / Transmission #1, with guest artist Greet Billet, January 11 – February 9, 2013
MINUS SPACE en Oaxaca: Panorama de 31 artistas internacionales, Multiple Cultural Venues, Oaxaca, Mexico, March 15 – April 30, 2012
30/30: Image Archive Project (IAP), June 26 – July 31, 2010
Minus Space, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center / MoMA, NYC, October 19, 2008 – May 4, 2009
Tilman: LOST AND FOUND | Concrete Findings, September 2007

Tilman (b. 1959, Munich, Germany) has exhibited internationally for the past three decades, including solo and group exhibitions in Europe, United States, and Australasia. In 2006, Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Norway mounted a major survey exhibition of the artist’s work Look Awry. Recent solo exhibitions include The Suburban (Chicago, Illinois), Linard Langsdorff (Paris, France), Mondriaanhuis (Amersfort, The Netherlands), Concept Space (Shibukawa, Japan), Project Initiative Tilburg (Tilburg, The Netherlands), Galerie Eric Linard (Garde-de-Adhemar, France), Galerie Soardi (Nice, France), and Galerie 69 (Graz, Austria).

Tilman’s work has been featured in publications, such as ARTnews, Artnet Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, and Tema Celeste, among many others. His work is included in numerous public and private collections internationally, including Bayerische Landesbank International, Beck GmbH, Deutsche Bank, Fondation de la Tapisserie des Arts du Tissu et des Arts Mureaux, Tournai, Henie Onstad Art Center, Pfizer, Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Teachers Insurance, and The New York Public Library.

In addition to his artistic practice, Tilman is the co-founder, artistic director, and chief curator of the Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art (CCNOA), which originally launched in Brussels, Belgium in 1998. He was also the co-founder and artistic director of H29, an experimental project space in Brussels from 2005-2008.


Living in a complex visual world, the artist today is constantly driven by a deeply rooted mechanism registering his surroundings. Curiosity stemming from a natural interest in the world in general and his immediate environment in particular leads him to archive visual and sensual impacts and impressions, real and abstract. Indulgence in personal discoveries and in the examination of things around him, with the massive stream of information that this involves, requires vivid anticipation. This ebb and flow of visual findings and sensations comes to play within the perimeter of his chosen artistic language – in this case the language of the ‘reductive’.

The artist detects objects and constellations of objects in their relationship to location; they are completely visual at first and clearly accessible to everybody attracted by the presence of things which go beyond their personal realm. These `findings` are common property, but they are often not registered as such and mostly left behind and forgotten, or simply not recognized as existing. This ‘lost property’ becomes environmental property and is swallowed up in a sea of diverse concreteness.

The artist’s ‘thinking’ eye, in a process of perceiving, consciously or subconsciously, appropriates these ‘findings’, transforms the images created in his personal universe and integrates them, in their own or in a processed concrete form, into the boundless territory of the non-objective. The found object or its image becomes concrete in its pure physical presence and in its pursuit of attention, and takes on a renewed relevance. Stripped of its original function it evokes new possibilities of existence without denying its actual authenticity.

And the information the perceiving mind receives and reads from those discoveries functions as a secret mechanism for luring the viewer into the process of perception and forms an overture for a bigger event.

The superimposition of the language of form and color inherent in the occupation with ‘strategies’ of the ‘reductive’, combined with the fact that they are related to a real visual world, leads to a complex construct of opportunities to read the resulting work of art, triggering the viewer’s senses and creating an opening for the properties of the formal artistic language intrinsic to ‘reductive’ art.

These ‘findings’, discovered and observed in the context of everyday life, functioning or discarded, disconnected from the context in which they were produced and used, not only become mediators for higher claims within the artistic language but also highlight the essence of the ‘finding’ itself and the visual poetry inherent in it. The very act of seeing and perceiving is a constructive approach to reading one’s world intellectually and physically, digesting the givens of subjective and objective matter at the same time and place, and evoking the linearity of seemingly opposite languages. We are entering a world of possibilities, angles, openings, spaces, sensualities and intimacies; traces of thought in memory and presence come to the surface, decoding the concreteness of things.

By sharing our presence with the presence of those ‘findings’, seductive, physical and visual, we are constantly invited to look, to participate, to search, to discover and to satisfy our curiosity for the world. Integrated in the artistic language of the non-objective and embedded in its discourse this ‘offering’ could give us the opportunity to initiate a dialogue beyond the intrinsically concrete, extending out the tight margin of reading an artwork to a more personalized universe of thought with all its edges, detours, obstacles, traces and marks, to perception and reflection, and to the creation of associations which go beyond the concreteness of things per se and the formal language of non-objective, reductive or concrete art.

Interview with Tilman, by Chris Ashley, June 2006

Tilman: Painted Obje(c)ts Ambigus, Linard Langsdorff, Paris, France, 2011 (PDF)
Tilman: House of Colors, L’Atelier Soardi Galerie D’Art Contemporain, Nice, France, 2009 (PDF)
Tilman: Trouve / Retrouve, Eric Linard Galerie, La Garde-Adhémar, France, 2009 (PDF)
Tilman: Curated Objects, Dum Umeni / House of Art, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, 2008 (PDF)
Tilman: Look Awry, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway, 2006 (PDF)