In his tenth show at David Zwirner, Belgian painter Luc Tuymans (b. 1958 Antwerp) shows all new works. The Summer is Over was originally planned to be on view in November-December 2012, but due to Hurricane Sandy, it was rescheduled to January 2013.
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.
One of the central themes in Tuymans’ work is the disastrous events of previous and most recent history such as the holocaust, 9/11 or for many Europeans, Belgium's sordid legacy in post-colonial Congo and its African leader Patrice Lumumba – motifs that for a long time were deemed not presentable. And while his figurative paintings deny a palpable legibility where the motifs are often not clearly recognizable, Tuymans’s works are defined by the stylistic methods of film and photography – unusual details, close-ups, the aesthetics of stills. They can be read as allegories of memory: certain pictures or aspects appear brightly, others disappear in the dark.
The Summer is Over, the seven works in the new series are different. Rather than historical subjects, they depict the artist’s immediate surroundings, interior views of his home and a rare self-portrait are complemented by views of the dismal buildings he walks past every day on the way to his studio. Yet unfamiliar perspectives and the simulation of other media — the paintings are based on photographs — restrict biographical insights into the artist’s life.
The show is sold out.
A catalogue raisonné of the artist’s paintings is currently being prepared by David Zwirner in collaboration with Studio
Luc Tuymans. Compiled and edited by art historian Eva Meyer-Hermann, the catalogue raisonné will illustrate and document
approximately 500 paintings by the artist from 1975 to the present day.
David Zwirner Website