Japanese cannibals and German executions: Luc Tuymans goes over to the dark side
Luc Tuymans is best known for his washed and bleached-out canvases, so one huge work in a new show represents a real departure for one of Europe's most influential painters: it is incredibly dark.
The painting is literally dark, in that it is a night-time scene, and metaphorically dark–it shows a group of people moments before they are shot.
"It is a one-off...something different," he said of the painting, called The Shore, which is based on a scene from a best-forgotten 1968 British film called A Twist of Sand.
In the gloom are a German submarine crew about to be executed–but Tuymans said it could easily be read in a different way. "It has a very strange feel at the moment because of the idea of Isis and execution. If you put Arabic letters on top of it, it would immediately resonate in a different way."
Tuymans said he had been striving to make a "really dark" picture for some time, and was increasingly influenced by Goya and his Black Paintings.
The painting is one of several new works going on display for the first time at the David Zwirner gallery in London.