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Wolfgang Tillmans, Conquistador II, 2000, color photograph.

Wolfgang Tillmans

Tate Britain

How to begin nailing a photographic oeuvre whose cast of characters ranges from Kate Moss (radiant in Alexander McQueen) to a brown rat (rapine in a gutter), whose still-life subjects flip from pink roses to a porky penis unleashed beside an airline breakfast, whose locations encompass antiwar demonstrations and tropical ponds? Check the manual, of course. If one thing matters, everything matters, the more than 2,400-image book that functions as—and generously exceeds the role of—an exhibition catalogue for Wolfgang Tillmans’s 301-photograph, two-video, seven-room monographic monster at Tate Britain, includes a hand-drawn, crisscrossing flowchart that anatomizes and interlinks the several dozen subject matters he has been pursuing since the late 1980s. Lines flex outward from the set of “People” to subsets like “crowds/strangers,” “soldier,” “nude/sex”; “Struktur” incorporates “bridges/rivers,”

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