Luc Tuymans

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Luc Tuymans
Luc Tuymans 01.jpg
Luc Tuymans, opening of his exhibition "Against the Day" at WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels, April 2009.
Born 1958
Mortsel, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Field Contemporary art

Luc Tuymans (born 1958) is a Belgian artist who lives and works in Antwerp. Tuymans is considered one of the most influential painters working today. His signature figurative paintings transform mediated film, television, and print sources into examinations of history and memory.

Early life and education[edit]

Tuymans was born in Mortsel near Antwerp, Belgium. Tuymans's mother's family had worked in the Dutch resistance and hid refugees.[1] His Belgian Flemish father[2] later revealed that two of his brothers had been in the Hitler Youth.[3] Tuymans began his studies in the fine arts at the Sint-Lukasinstituut in Brussels in 1976. At the age of 19 Tuymans encountered a series of El Greco paintings in Budapest while working as a guard for a European railway company.[4] Subsequently he studied fine arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels, Belgium (1979–1980) and at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, Belgium (1980–1982). He abandoned painting in 1982, studying art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels (1982–6), and spent three years experimenting with video and film until 1985.[5]

Work[edit]

Tuymans emerged in at a time when there were not many new contemporary painters making, or using imagistic paintings; others include John Currin or Elizabeth Peyton.[6] Tuymans' subjects range from major historical events, such as the Holocaust or the politics of the Belgian Congo, to the inconsequential and banal - wallpaper patterns, Christmas decorations, everyday objects.[7] Tuymans first made his mark in the 1980s, when he began to explore Europe's memories of World War II with harsh, elegant paintings like Gas Chamber (1986), which depicts the Dachau concentration camp.[8] His "Heritage paintings", inspired by a mood which he perceived in the US after the Oklahoma City bombing, depict normal, almost stereotypical American imagery, for example: two baseball caps; Mount Rushmore; the image of a man working; a portrait; a birthday cake; the series also included a portrait of wealthy Ku Klux Klansman Joseph Milteer.[9] The artist later aroused interest in 2000 with his series of political paintings titled Mwana Kitoko ("beautiful boy"), which take themes out of the state visit of King Baudouin of Belgium in the Congo in the 1950s. The works were exhibited in 2000 at the David Zwirner Gallery and the following year in the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The most noted painting was of the king himself in his white military uniform.

Integral to the Tuyman's practice is the reliance on existing visual materials, including drawings, photographs, and film stills.[10] He started to use Polaroids in 1995.[11] The artist's sparsely-colored, figurative are typically painted with fleet brush strokes of wet paint on wet paint on a modest scale and derive their subjects from pre-existing imagery which includes photographs and video stills, and often appear slightly out-of-focus.[12] The blurriness is actually sharp because, unlike with Gerhard Richter, it is not wiped away but just painted.[13] His paintings embrace a number of formal and conceptual oppositions, echoed in Tuymans’s own explanation that “sickness should appear in the way the painting is made,” yet in “caressing the painting” there is also pleasure in its making. These statements are characteristic of Tuymans’s self-conscious and tenaciously semantic shaping of the philosophical content in his work.[14] Tuymans often works in series, a method whereby one image can generate another and where images can be formulated and then reformulated. He continuously analyses and distils his images, making many drawings, photocopies and watercolours before making the high-intensity oil paintings.[15] Two early series are the cycle Die Zeit (Time) (1988) about the holocaust; Heimat (German for ‘homeland’) (1996), paintings in which Tuymans sketches a wry picture of the revived self-awareness of the Flemish nationalist;[16] and the series Passion (1999) about the essence of religious belief.[17] Between 2007 and 2009 Tuymans worked on a triptych, which began with Les Revenants and Restoration (2007) about the power of the Jesuit Order; continued with Forever. The Management of Magic, relating to the world phenomenon Walt Disney; and ended with Against the Day (2009), a series on TV reality shows.[18]

At documenta 11 in 2002, where the selection of work that year focused on works of art with political or social commentary, many expected Tuymans to make new works in response to the New York attacks on 11 September 2001. Instead he presented a simple still-life executed on a massive scale, deliberately ignoring all reference to world events,[19] leading to negative critiques.[20]

Teaching[edit]

Tuymans has also engaged in pedagogical work, he was a guest tutor at the Dutch institute Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, where he mentored and significantly influenced emerging painters such as the Polish Paulina Olowska and Serbian-born Ivan Grubanov.

Exhibitions[edit]

Tuymans represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 2001. He has been the focus of several retrospectives at various international institutions, including the Műcsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest, Hungary; Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany; the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland; the Tate Modern, London, England (2004); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal; Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva, Switzerland (both 2006); and, most recently (2011) the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The artist’s first comprehensive U.S. retrospective opened in September 2009 at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, and travelled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Against the Day, an exhibition of works inspired by one of Tuymans' favorite authors, Thomas Pynchon, originated at Wiels Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels, and subsequently travelled to Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow, and Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden.

In 1992, Tuymans was invited to show at the documenta for the first time. His numerous, recent group exhibitions have since included Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (2009); Collecting Collections: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Doing it My Way: Perspectives in Belgian Art, Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany (2008); What is Painting? Contemporary Art From the Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Fast Forward: Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; The Painting of Modern Life, Hayward Gallery, London, England and Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (2007); Essential Painting, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea, Codroipo, Italy (2006).

Curator[edit]

Tuymans also curates exhibitions, and is organizing the second in a series of cross-cultural exhibitions that brings together Belgian and Chinese art. His exhibition, The State of Things: Brussels/Beijing traveled from the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium to Beijing. In 2010-2011 he was the guest curator for the inaugural Bruges Central art festival in Bruges, Belgium. In 2013, he curated an exhibition at the Albertinum in Dresden, titled "Constable, Delacroix, Friedrich, Goya. A Shock to the Senses".

Collections[edit]

Work by the artist is held in the public collections of various museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and the Tate Gallery, London.

Recognition[edit]

Tuymans holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp, Belgium and was honored by the Belgian government when they bestowed upon him the title of Commander, Order of Leopold in 2007. In 2013, Tuymans received the amfAR Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS in recognition of his continuous support of amfAR’s programs.[21]

Art market[edit]

Luc Tuymans is represented by David Zwirner, New York, and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp. In 2005, Sculpture (2000), part of Tuymans' Mwana Kitoko: Beautiful White Man series, was sold at Christie's New York, for $1,472,000.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Tuymans is married to Venezuelan artist Carla Arocha. They live and work in Antwerp. He is good friends with fellow artist Stan Douglas, and with an older generation of American painters, such as Alex Katz, Chuck Close, Brice Marden, Ellsworth Kelly.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelly Klaasmeyer (October 16, 2013), "Luc Tuymans: Nice" Is Just That and Nothing More Houston Press.
  2. ^ Karen Wright (September 22, 2012), In The Studio: Luc Tuymans, painter The Independent.
  3. ^ Kelly Klaasmeyer (October 16, 2013), "Luc Tuymans: Nice" Is Just That and Nothing More Houston Press.
  4. ^ Dorothy Spears (3 February 2010), Putting the Wrongs of History in Paint New York Times.
  5. ^ Luc Tuymans MoMA Collection, New York.
  6. ^ Projects: John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton, Luc Tuymans, June 26 – September 9, 1997 MoMA, New York
  7. ^ Luc Tuymans, 23 June – 26 September 2004 Tate Modern, London.
  8. ^ J. S. Marcus (July 3, 2009), Luc Tuymans Captures the Moment Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ Luc Tuymans: The Heritage, September 20 - October 19, 1996 David Zwirner Gallery, New York.
  10. ^ Luc Tuymans: Forever, The Management of Magic, February 14 - March 22, 2008 David Zwirner Gallery, New York.
  11. ^ Kenneth Baker (March 11, 2010), A talk with Luc Tuymans about SFMOMA show San Francisco Chronicle.
  12. ^ Luc Tuymans: Corporate, November 6 – December 21, 2010 David Zwirner Gallery, New York.
  13. ^ Gareth Harris (9 September 2009), Why paintings succeed where words fail The Art Newspaper.
  14. ^ Lindquist, Greg (May 2010). "Luc Tuymans". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  15. ^ Luc Tuymans: The Rumour, 5 September — 13 October 2001 White Cube, London.
  16. ^ Luc Tuymans Museum De Pont, Tilburg.
  17. ^ Luc Tuymans: The Arena Hatje Cantz Publishing.
  18. ^ Luc Tuymans: Against the Day, 26 December 2009 - 25 April 2010 Moderna Museet, Malmö.
  19. ^ Luc Tuymans, 23 June – 26 September 2004 Tate Modern, London.
  20. ^ Ludwig Seyfarth (20 June 2002), Rückkehr zur Tradition - Luc Tuymans' Beitrag zur D11 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
  21. ^ 2013 Honoree: Luc Tuymans TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, Dallas
  22. ^ Luc Tuymans, Sculpture (2000) Christie's 11 May 2005, New York.
  23. ^ Kenneth Baker (March 11, 2010), A talk with Luc Tuymans about SFMOMA show San Francisco Chronicle.

Further reading[edit]

  • Grynsztejn Madeleine, Molesworth Helen,"LUC TUYMANS",San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/ Wexner Center for the Arts/D.A.P.,2009. ISBN 978-1-933045-98-6
  • Tolnai Ottó,György Dragomán, Stanislawska Olga,Tuszynska Agata, "LUC TUYMANS",Stockmans/De Vos,2009. ISBN 978-90-77207-18-5

Articles[edit]

External links[edit]

Construction européenne, Rem Koolhaas meets Luc Tuymans