But, surprisingly, the 14 canvases from the Israeli-born Danish artist's recent body of work are intended to intrigue rather than titillate.
As the artist says: 'The fascinating thing for me about sex shops is the idea of something being withheld'. Rather than the insides of sex shops, Tal R is captivated by their exteriors, which he also sees as an analogy for painting. 'There is a weird parallel between any façade and a painting', Tal R explains, 'both of them are a flat surface but they promise a three-dimensional experience.'
The paintings from his recent Sexshops series headed for Victoria Miro are inspired by photographs of red-light establishments sent to the artist from friends travelling around the world. From anonymous doorways to brightly-patterned windows, the series presents distinct shifts in tone and mood.
The subdued colour palette of Zwanglos, 2017 (meaning 'relaxed' in German), a Berlin swingers club, contrasts dramatically to the breezy red and white candy coloured stripes of Venus, 2017. While form and colour differs, the series is united by an overarching sense of the unseen and unknown. The images allure through what they withhold – the tantalising suggestion of 'the back room' reigns forth.
Given Tal R has been called the most influential artist of his time, the production of this series of paintings is surprisingly archaic. Tal R uses a method similar to the classical method of distemper, a historical form of binding. The artist mixes pure pigments with rabbit skin glue to achieve a rich colour and intense glow.
A former professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Tal R’s trademark painterly style is characterised by naïve, broad brush strokes. But don't be fooled, they are thick with historical and artistic references to Expressionism, Fauvism and Symbolism.
Enter Victoria Miro at your peril. The questions is, will you be seduced?
|What||Gallery Exhibition, Victoria Miro London presents Tal R's Sexshops|
|Where||Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road , London, N1 7RW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
20 Sep 17 – 20 Dec 17, Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 6pm
|Website||Please click here for more info|