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Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History Ocula Conversation
In Partnership with Artspace Sydney
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History By Ruth McDougall, Sydney

Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .

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Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere Ocula Report Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere By Soo-Min Shim, Sydney

'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'

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Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 Ocula Insight Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 By Stephanie Bailey, London

In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .

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HomePage Artists

b. 1958, Belgium

Luc Tuymans Biography

Belgian artist Luc Tuymans is regarded as one of the most influential painters working today. Tuymans' portraits, still lifes and other painted scenes are largely concerned with the inconsistencies between traumatic events and the images that come to represent them. Characterised by their washed-out and muted tones, the nostalgic, melancholy and banal qualities of his paintings often conceal violent themes. Notably, he is credited with contributing to the revival of representational painting in the 1990s at a point where many doubted the relevance of the genre.

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In his 1986 painting Gas Chamber—based off a watercolour sketch he made on-site in the Dachau concentration camp in Germany—sparse brushstrokes roughly depict the interior of an empty gas chamber. The airless, pale yellow-pink tones used to render the space suggest the image is an aged relic of a brutal episode that has been relegated to history books, while the somewhat distorted perspective and understated palette imply the artist's cool detachment and aversion to emotional spectacle. Similarly, for his series of paintings titled 'Mwana Kitoko—Beautiful White Man'—presented at the Belgium Pavilion of the 2001 Venice Biennale—Tuymans took Belgium's colonial presence in Africa as a point of departure. One painting in the series, Mwana Kitoko (2000), depicts the then-24-year-old Belgian King arriving in the Congo for a procession in 1955; his jacket is covered in medals, but his awkward posture belies discomfort and unease. Tsjombe (2000), on the other hand, shows a group of African men talking at a table, rendered in muted colours. While retaining Tuymans' characteristic aesthetic restraint, the paintings in the series quietly point at systemic imbalances of power.

Tuymans is acutely aware of the insufficiency of images to convey trauma. Created for documenta11 (2002), the painting Still Life (2002) was Tuymans' defiant counter to the expectation that his work for the exhibition would respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. To counter the saturation of horrific images in the media, Tuymans turned towards the idyllic and painted a pale still life of fruit, magnified to a monumental scale. To him, images and language were inadequate to represent the recent horrors. In the enormous, banal painting that resisted interpretation, Tuymans provided quiet space for contemplation.

Tuymans' interest in lens-based images is long-standing. After he studied art in the 1970s, he worked for a time as a filmmaker before returning to painting in the 1980s. Cinematic elements—remnants of that brief interlude—are still evident in his works, which use camera-imitative techniques such as cropping and enlargement. His 2005 painting The Secretary of State is a tight close-up image of Condoleezza Rice, who had that year become the United States secretary of state; her brow is furrowed as if focused or concerned. Tuymans was inspired to paint the image after hearing a politician make a sexist comment about Rice; he selected the reference image from a fan website, having been drawn to that particular photograph due to the determination in her expression.

Themes of impending decay also make their way into Tuymans' works. In his 2016 exhibition Le Mépris at David Zwirner in New York, the artist presented several paintings based on photographs of floats, murky water and the interior of a famous Capri villa. Depicting festivities and their aftermath, devoid of human presence, Tuymans hints at an imminent premonition that he shows contempt for—a sentiment that he holds for 'everything' in general, as relayed in his 2016 conversation with Ocula Magazine. 'In paintings,' he said, 'painted time is something different than real time. You could say there is an element of melancholy, of nostalgia, but it's kind of twisted in a way. There's an element of aggression. So, it's torture.'

Tuymans was awarded three honorary doctorates between 2006 and 2015. Since 1985, he has exhibited in over 100 solo and more than 500 group exhibitions, and his work has been collected by over 40 museums and public institutions worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, Tate Modern in London and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Since 1999, he has been curating exhibitions and participating in special projects, and in 2001 he represented Belgium at the 49th Venice Biennale.

Tuymans lives and works in Antwerp.

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018

Luc Tuymans Featured Artworks

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In the End You're Just Dad by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansIn the End You're Just Dad, 2010Oil on canvas
49 x 67.8 cm
Zeno X Gallery Enquire about this work
The Owl by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansThe Owl, 2019Ecoline on polyester tracing paper series of 27 works
Zeno X Gallery Enquire about this work
Silence, 1990–2000 (For Parkett 60) by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansSilence, 1990–2000 (For Parkett 60), 1990–2000Men’s cotton shirt with reproduction of the artist’s painting 'SILENCE' (1991)
Parkett Enquire about this work
Seagull by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansSeagull, 2018Oil on canvas
169.5 x 157.4 cm
Zeno X Gallery Enquire about this work
The Spiritual Exercises 2 by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansThe Spiritual Exercises 2, 2007Watercolour on paper
25 x 17.5 cm
Zeno X Gallery Enquire about this work
The Spiritual Exercises 1 by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansThe Spiritual Exercises 1, 2007Watercolour on paper
25 x 17.5 cm
Zeno X Gallery Enquire about this work
Tunnel by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansTunnel, 2004Oil on canvas
147.1 x 228.3 cm
Zeno X Gallery Enquire about this work
Ceiling by Luc Tuymans contemporary artwork
Luc TuymansCeiling, 1989-1993Oil on canvas,
30 x 50 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work

Luc Tuymans Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, (SELF) PORTRAITS at Parkett, Zurich
Open Now
22 February–18 July 2020 Group Exhibition (SELF) PORTRAITS Parkett, Zurich Exhibition Space
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, On Painting: Art Basel Online at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
20–25 March 2020 Group Exhibition On Painting: Art Basel Online David Zwirner, Online Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Works on Paper at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
Closed
29 January–14 March 2020 Group Exhibition Works on Paper Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans Represented By

Luc Tuymans In Ocula Magazine

New York’s Armory Show: Seven Artwork Highlights Ocula Insight New York’s Armory Show: Seven Artwork Highlights By Sam Gaskin, New York

Members of Ocula Magazine's editorial team, Stephanie Bailey and Tessa Moldan, along with Ocula Art Advisory director Rory Mitchell, share their selection of stand-out works to view at the storied New York art fair, which returns to the banks of the Hudson River from 5–8 March.

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CAFA Museum's Tech Triennale Falls Victim to Virus Ocula News CAFA Museum's Tech Triennale Falls Victim to Virus Beijing, 31 January 2020

With more events being postponed and institutions closing their doors, Art Basel in Hong Kong is also under pressure to cancel.

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Taipei Dangdai 2020: Local and Global Ocula Report Taipei Dangdai 2020: Local and Global By Penny Liu, Taipei

At the second edition of Taipei Dangdai, western capital gestures towards Taipei's rising status in the global art world, while alluding to 'a token blessing from the West to Taiwanese society, which is known to have a strong collector base.'

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Luc Tuymans Ocula Conversation Luc Tuymans By Brienne Walsh, New York

With over 120 solo shows, and 600 group shows on his curriculum vitae, Luc Tuymans is credited by critics such as Peter Schjeldahl with having contributed to the revival of painting, which misguided critics have been eulogising since 1839, when the French painter Paul Delaroche declared it dead. After studying art history at Vrije Universiteit...

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Luc Tuymans In Related Press

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Luc Tuymans’s Moral Distance Related Press Luc Tuymans’s Moral Distance 13 July 2019, Hyperallergic

VENICE — Luc Tuymans is a figurative painter who is deeply suspicious about the power of visual representations. Fully aware of their seductiveness, he doubts that they can ever be truthful. And so the title of his exhibition, La Pelle ('the skin), which comes from the 1949 Italian novel by Curzio Malaparte, is apt.

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The Art Newspaper's pick of the 2019 Venice Biennale Related Press The Art Newspaper's pick of the 2019 Venice Biennale 30 April 2019, The Art Newspaper

There are hundreds of exhibitions in Venice during the Biennale. Alongside the main exhibition in the Giardini and Arsenale, there are 90 national presentations, many in nearby pavilions in the Giardini and in spaces around the Arsenale, but also dotted throughout Venice. Then there are the official collateral exhibitions in museums and galleries...

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Heads Roll review – an exhibition for narcissists everywhere Related Press Heads Roll review – an exhibition for narcissists everywhere 13 August 2018, The Guardian

Portraiture is an enduring art form, thanks to the narcissistic tendencies of the human race.

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Jakarta Biennale: A new understanding of contemporary Indonesian art Related Press Jakarta Biennale: A new understanding of contemporary Indonesian art 2 November 2017, The Jakarta Post

This year's Jakarta Biennale will diverge from many of the curatorial practices of its predecessors. The Jakarta Biennale, which is set to open on Saturday at Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem in South Jakarta, will this year adopt Jiwa as its artistic concept. Jiwa is a concept that is almost impossible to translate into English, but for this...

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