Born in Munich, Germany, Tilman is an abstract artist and curator. His work includes paintings, built environments, and stacked and layered wall and floor-based objects.
He is a founder and current curatorial advisor of Dolceacqua Arte Contemporanea (d.a.c.) in Dolceacqua, Italy, and was a founder and former Chief Curator of the Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art (CCNOA) in Brussels, Belgium.
Tilman lives and works in New York City and Dolceacqua, Italy.
Tilman graduated from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and Design in 1978, and studied under Günter Fruhtrunk and Hans Baschang at the Munich Academy of Visual Art from 1981 to 1985.
Tilman creates a range of aesthetic objects, including paintings, drawings, prints, three-dimensional wall hangings, floor objects, floor-wall objects, and built environments. His paintings incorporate various mediums including paint, lacquer and crayons, and integrate various surfaces including vellum, MDF and aluminum. His three-dimensional wall hangings on MDF and aluminum hang flat on the wall, offering a primary front plane, while also creating new spatial possibilities beyond that plane. His works on vellum propose a similar visual arrangement of space, creating compositions of color and form that interact with light to re-order the visual environment. His technique addresses ways of seeing and perception, engaging the viewer to investigate beyond the surface.
Tilman is inspired by the traditions of Concrete Art and Minimalism. The objects he creates use form and color to interpret light and space, engaging the curiosity of viewers. As an active participant in his visual surroundings, his natural curiosity leads him to notice forms, compositions, colors and other sensory impressions occupying public spaces. These concrete elements of the common visual world then take on a new, non-objective presence in his mind. He later interprets these found visual elements into made concrete objects through a reductive process, eliminating what is not necessary and allowing the essence of his findings to manifest anew
About the visual cues that inspire him to create his artworks, Tilman says:
“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.”
Tilman has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia, Australia, and in the US. He received a major mid-career survey exhibition of his work at Kunstnernes Hus (The Artists’ House) in Oslo, Norway, in 2006. His work has been featured in multiple major publications such as ARTnews and Artnet magazine.
Artworks by Tilman are included in numerous private and institutional collections, including those of Deutsche Bank, Pfizer, Teachers Insurance, The New York Public Library and the Musée d’art Moderne, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY