Luc Tuymans: Proper
Opening on Friday, October 14th, David Zwirner will present new paintings by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans. A pivotal artist in the field of contemporary painting, Tuymans has shown extensively in Europe and the United States. This will be the artist's sixth solo exhibition at David Zwirner. In 2004, Tuymans' work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Tate Modern in London, which traveled to the K21 Kunstsammlung NordrheinWestfalen in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Wexner Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will mount the artist's first US retrospective in 2008.
This exhibition will include 10 new paintings, in which Tuymans puts forth the image of a fragile America and the crumbling state of current affairs. There is a sense of delayed trauma, depicted in flat, muted hues, that shuns the obvious and circumvents easy interpretation. With a similar intensity to the exhibitions Mwana Kitoko, 2000, in which he examined the colonial history of Belgium, and Fortune, 2003, which centered on the effects of images from 9/11, Tuymans offers a critique of America that is intended to be subconsciously constructed. While there is nothing overt or merely symbolic about these paintings, they lay claim to real events, suppressed memories, and, in this case, the reality of our current political dilemma.
Belgian artist Luc Tuymans is widely credited with having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s. His sparsely colored, figurative works speak in a quiet, restrained, and at times unsettling voice, and are typically painted from pre-existing imagery which includes photographs and video stills, exploring diverse and sensitive topics including the Holocaust, the effects of images from 9/11, the ambiguous utopia of the Disney empire, the colonial history of his native Belgium, and the phenomenon of the corporation. Since 1994, Tuymans has committed himself to showing a new series of works at David Zwirner once every two years—a promise that he kept, and continues to keep, twenty years on, as his tempered style and political content have steadily garnered him worldwide acclaim.