JUERGEN TELLER – i need to live at the Triennale Milano

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The exhibition “Juergen Teller i need to live” opens tomorrow, January 27, at the Triennale Milano, curated by Thomas Weski in collaboration with Juergen Teller and Dovile Drizyte.

The exhibition, which was presented at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris from 16 December 2023 to 9 January 2024, is the largest retrospective ever held of the German photographer’s work and spans his creative production, from the first half of the nineties to the present .

Juergen Teller is considered one of the leading names of a group of internationally renowned photographers, highly appreciated both in the fields of commercial photography and contemporary art. He is known around the world for his candid portraits of celebrities, provocative fashion editorials and original campaigns for various designers.


Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, states:

We are happy to present one of the largest exhibitions dedicated to Juergen Teller, a kaleidoscopic visual artist, capable of capturing and reshaping – sometimes in the same image – the most intimate impulses, the most irreverent poses and the instances of contemporaneity.”
Since making his name in London in the early 1990s, Juergen Teller has also produced important personal works in which he explores himself, his family, his roots and his identity. For the past five years, he has collaborated with his wife Dovile Drizyte on joint projects that reflect various aspects of their relationship, marriage and parenting. These works are defined by a characteristic mix of serious and intimate but often humorous characters created in a grotesque style.

i need to live, created with the support of Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, presents over 1000 works and brings together both personal works and commissioned works, well-known images and new photographic series, as well as videos and installations. The selection of works is partly different from that of the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris. This is to all intents and purposes a new exhibition project, designed for the spaces of Triennale Milano.


The title of the exhibition, “i need to live”, refers to Teller’s feelings in the face of the existential incidents that marked his life, sometimes in a tragic way. The artist addresses these themes in the same way he practices photography, with a direct and realistic style, entirely personal. With his unique images, Teller celebrates the importance of being alive, while acknowledging the fragility of human existence.

The architectural design of the exhibition was entrusted to 6a architects, who designed the artist’s photography studio in West London, completed in 2016. Their specialist knowledge of Teller’s practice, gained through their previous collaboration, inspired the design of setup by creating individual sectors within the Triennale exhibition space. The exhibition allows visitors to appreciate the richness and variety of Teller’s practice through a unique visual experience.

Juergen Teller is the author of over forty art books, created in collaboration with Gerhard Steidl of the Steidl Verlag in Göttingen over the last twenty years. A wide selection of these volumes will be featured in the exhibition alongside other publications, magazines and printed material, showcasing the cultural context in which Teller’s work is often first presented.


On the occasion of the exhibition at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris and at Triennale Milano, the publication i need to live was created by Juergen Teller and Dovile Drizyte, published by Steidl and with texts by Leïla Slimani, Anthony Vaccarello, Rick Owens, Roni Horn, Thomas Weski, Tom Emerson and Alistair O’Neill. Four author books were published in parallel: Juergen Teller, Fashion Photography for America 1999–2016; Juergen Teller, Jurgaičiai; Juergen Teller, More Handbags; Juergen Teller, The Myth. All publications are available online and at the Triennale store.



Juergen Teller – I need to live
Edited by: Thomas Weski, in collaboration with Juergen Teller and Dovile Drizyte
From January 27th – April 1st

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