Who is Luc Tuymans?
Belgium-born Tuymans was a key figure in the revival of figurative painting in the 1990s. His subjects are diverse ranging, from major historical events to the banal, as well as depictions of abstract emotional states with melancholy titles like ‘Embitterment’ or ‘Insomnia’. Ironically, Tuymans’s specific painting techniques owe much to the brief interlude in the early 1980s when he lost faith in the medium and worked briefly for a filmmaker. Close-ups, cropping and sequencing are key elements of his work.
David Zwirner, London exhibition
The Shore, the monumental title painting of the exhibition, is based on the opening scene from the 1968 film A Twist of Sand. A menacing dark hue fills the canvas, save for a narrow strip of white which picks out a group of unidentifiable figures a few moments from death. Tuymans has spoken of his desire to paint a ‘truly dark painting’, and one cannot help but see the influence of Goya here and in his portrait of the cannibal Issei Sagawa.
Elsewhere three close-up portraits of Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, originally by Scottish artist, Henry Raeburn, radiate with a blue tint reminiscent of the light of computer screens.
And that is what’s so interesting about Tuyman’s paintings – they present historical subjects as if they were part of the contemporary moment, just as current events are inevitably filtered through the hidden structures and regulations of the mass media.
This intriguing and somewhat troubling contemporary art exhibition and will keep you pondering for a good while.
|What||Luc Tuymans: The Shore, David Zwirner|
|Where||David Zwirner, 24 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
30 Jan 15 – 02 Apr 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|