Wolfgang Tillmans’ inkjet art

The Graphical Tree
3 min readMay 11, 2018

Tate Modern in London ran a Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition last year and we paid a visit for some artist inspiration. Tillmans, in 2002, hailing from Germany, was the first photographer and non-British artist to be awarded the Turner Prize for art.

It was particularly interesting for us to see the use of large format print throughout the show. Many of the photographic pieces were produced using inkjet printers to heavyweight matte paper stock. The colours reproduced beautifully, the matte stock full of texture and character. As the exhibition room guide says ‘Tillmans’ understanding of the material qualities of paper is fundamental to his work… photographs can take on a sculptural quality.

The paper work was hung using small bulldog clips. Probably due to the thickness of the stock chosen and the controlled temperature of the gallery, they look remarkably flat still, even after being in hung for a while already. This goes to show that using a ‘simple’ paper substrate can generate brilliant results for art exhibitions. It’s not necessary to print then mount to achieve a piece suitable for hanging in a gallery.

Some of the larger pieces were produced in two sections, due to the width restrictions of the material, and joined together at the back. Each horizontal piece being approx. 4 x 1.5m in size. High-quality matte prints can be produced to a 1.5m width (though you could print a matte inkjet up 3m wide x 100m long) However, because of the scale and where the prints would be viewed from by the viewer, i.e. a few feet away, the join really wasn’t noticeable. So if you fancy reproducing Jack Kerouac’s original 120 ft manuscript for On The Road in large format, or you have some photographic imagery you’d like to print, let us know and we can share our own expertise in how to produce your art.


The Graphical Tree are a specialist large format print and display production company and can be found in London, UK.




The Graphical Tree

Industry-leading specialists in large format print & display, including sustainable print offerings / thegraphicaltree.com