Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The first U.S. retrospective of the work of Belgian contemporary artist Luc Tuymans, and the most comprehensive presentation of his work to date is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago from October 2, 2010 through January 9, 2011. The show features approximately 75 key paintings from 1978 to the present and reunites works from important series as initially set out by the artist, thus restoring intended dialogue among the works.
Luc Tuymans (born 1958) is considered to be one of the most significant painters working today. While addressing issues of history and memory his distinctive visual style and approach emphasizes the tensions between the handcraft of painting and the mechanical eye of photography. Interested in the after-effects of the most traumatic events of the last and present century and their representation in the mass media, Tuymans uses a muted palette to create paintings that are at once sumptuous and subtle, enigmatic and disarmingly stark.
Born and raised in Antwerp, where he continues to live and work, Tuymans draws on the historical traditions of Northern European painting as well as photography (with his use of polaroids as source material), cinema and television. He appropriates images from a variety of sources and makes use of cropping, close-ups, framing and sequencing to offer fresh perspectives on the medium of painting as well as larger cultural issues. Whether interiors, landscapes, or figural representations, his works might initially suggest relatively innocuous depictions of everyday life, but there is almost always another meaning lurking beneath their surfaces. Like veiled memories, Tuymans's paintings oscillate between coherence and illegibility, challenging viewers' certainty about not only what they are looking at but also how they should be looking.
Surely it is against these considerations that any substantive art practice should be measured and evaluated.
The painting: Bridge 2009
Posted by Harvey's Blog at 6:10 PM