In Conor Donlon, Wolfgang Tillmans (born 1968) chronicles East London’s art scene and nightlife of the early 2000s, as well as his friendship with collaborator and artist Conor Donlon. The book sees Donlon’s appearance and style changing, as well as his backdrops: a 2003 demonstration against George W. Bush’s state visit; a picnic at the park after an opening at Tillmans’s exhibition space Between Bridges; the bright yellow walls of Tillmans and Donlon’s home; long-gone LGBT clubs The Ghetto and The Joiners’ Arm; and quieter moments spent talking in the studio and around town.
Tillmans’s photographs are at once intimate and emblematic of a flourishing arts era, where both artists’ work gained momentum. The Guardian’s culture editor Alex Needham introduces the work with an essay about Donlon’s initial role as Tillmans’s assistant, contextualizing the artists’ collaboration and the inception of London independent bookstore Donlon Books in 2008.
“For many years I have thought about the possibility of creating monothematic portrait books of friends I have photographed over a long period. Finally I had the time over Christmas to begin this process and Iʼm very happy with the draft for Conor Donlon. The book runs chronologically over fifteen years and is therefore not only a portrait of a person, but also of a friendship, the city of London, and the nightlife in East London, which no longer exists. Haircuts, menʼs fashion… many aspects emerge through the perspective of time. Londoners will recognise, for example, The Ghetto, Joiners Arms and the George & Dragon.”
Publisher: Walther König, Cologne
Artists: Wolfgang Tillmans
Contributors: Alex Needham
Designer: Wolfgang Tillmans, Paul Hutchinson
Printer: Druckerei Bloch, Berlin
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 in (16.5 x 24.1 cm)
Reproductions: 185 color
© Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig