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Spotlight series: Luc Tuymans

Good Luck

ISBN: 9781644230343 (HB - E/ CHIN)
Ç
Widely credited with having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s, Belgian painter Luc Tuymans continues to expand our understanding of the medium. Sourcing imagery from books, magazines, films, the internet, and increasingly his own iPhone photos, Tuymans's unique selection of subject matter reveals his fascination with moral complexities.

Exploring diverse and sensitive topics, many of which include historic references from World War II to more contemporary events such as 9/11, Tuymans presents imagery that at first seems innocuous or approachable but upon deeper inspection can be entirely unsettling. Achieved through his masterful handling of paint, his works are often suggestive of memories or familiar people, places, and things.

The latest in the Spotlight Series, which focuses on new bodies of work by contemporary artists, Tuymans continues to take on increasingly complex subject matters in his primarily muted palette. Published on the occasion of the artist's 2020 solo exhibition at David Zwirner Hong Kong, this book features an essay by art critic Su Wei, who approaches Tuymans's newest paintings and how they expand his oeuvre.


Luc Tuymans (b. 1958) is known for a distinctive style of painting that demonstrates images' power to simultaneously communicate and withhold. Emerging in the 1980s, Tuymans pioneered a decidedly non-narrative approach to figurative painting, instead exploring how information can be layered and embedded within certain scenes and signifiers. Based on preexisting imagery culled from a variety of sources, his works are rendered in a muted palette that is suggestive of a blurry recollection or a fading memory. Their quiet and restrained appearance, however, belies an underlying moral complexity. They engage equally with questions of history and its representation as they do with quotidian subject matter. Tuymans's canvases, which are typically executed on a large scale, both undermine and reinvent traditional notions of monumentality through their insistence on the ambiguity of meaning.

Su Wei is a curator and art critic based in Beijing. He is the senior curator of Inside-Out Art Museum (IOAM), Beijing. His curatorial projects include the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, China (2012)


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