Opening on February 14, David Zwirner is pleased to present new work by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans. The artist is currently the focus of a retrospective traveling from Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, Hungary (closes February 10) to Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (March 2-May 12) and Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (May 30-August 17). Tuymans has recently been the subject of one-person exhibitions at Kabinet für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven, Germany (2007); MuHKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium (2007); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2006); Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva, Switzerland (2006); and the Tate Modern, London, England (2004). In 2009, the Wexner Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will mount the artist's first US retrospective, which will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
A pivotal figure in the field of contemporary painting, Tuymans has explored diverse themes ranging from the colonial history of Belgium, the effects of images from 9/11, to the elusive power of the Jesuit order. In his seventh solo exhibition at the gallery, the artist will focus his exacting gaze on the globally influential, yet distinctly American phenomenon of Disney. Founded in the early 1920s as a small animation studio, The Walt Disney Company has become one of the largest media and entertainment corporations in the world. A conscious purveyor of family values and the virtue of American industry, Disney has vigorously defended its role in the creation of what the artist has termed a "spiritual utopia." With characteristic intensity, Tuymans explores the transformation of entertainment into ideology, while at the same time offers a critique of the hegemonic control of economic and cultural capital and the implicit dangers in a reality based on the production of magic.