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First Solo Exhibition in Brussels for Luc Tuymans at Wiels Contemporary Art Center
Luc Tuymans, Reflections , 2009. Oil on canvas, 98,5 x 98 cm. Courtesy : David Zwirner, New York and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp.

BRUSSELS.- This is the first solo exhibition of Luc Tuymans in Brussels. The artist will present, in world premiere, twenty new paintings. The works are the third and last part of a triptych that began with the series Les Revenants about the power of the Jesuit Order and continued with Forever. The Management of Magic, about the Walt Disney phenomenon. In this new series, Tuymans continues his work focusing on virtual reality, fantasies and illusions in images and concentrates on virtual images and images without any sense of reality. Thus, Tuymans continues his research on the illusion and manipulation of images and gives answers through his painting practice.

Most or practically all of Tuymans’ paintings are based upon already represented imagery, ranging from drawings, photographs, found images, film-stills, Polaroid’s, etc. He calls his work 'authentic forgeries', convinced that original images do not exist and that every image is derived from another. He uses family pictures and historical images as representations of social-political taboos and a traumatic past.

The function of the close-up, the framing and other visual principles, which the artists appropriated from cinema, is remarkable. Tuymans used to make films and the storyboard – like drawings such as Lift (1980) demonstrate his cinematographic point of view. In Blacklight (1994), a chair, a sofa, a standard lamp and a television set are crowded in the right corner of the images, as if we are looking in through a swerving camera. The framing suggests a snapshot of a passing movement and enlarges the sense of impending doom.

The image is never fragmented. The image is fragmentary as a whole. It finds itself somewhere between spectator and image, in a claustrophobic place of non-communication, as an accomplished fact, as the silent weight of deceit, memory and trauma before or after an event. Through mimicry, the artist realises a reconstruction. The imagery permits different interpretations and several layers of meaning, therefore it can only be perceived as ambiguous and dubious.

Tuymans is one of the most respected painters of his generation. His work is largely included in prominent international museums, e.g. the Museum Of Modern Art in New York and the National Museum of Modern Art Georges Pompidou Centre Paris. He participated in important exhibitions such as Documenta IX 1992. He had a solo exhibition in 2002 in Helsinki. In 2004, Tate Modern London (UK) scheduled a great solo show of his paintings. This exhibition travelled to the K21 Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf (GER). He participated in the Biennale di Sao Paulo del Brasile in 2004. Several major solo exhibitions were planned in 2007, including a retrospective at Haus der Kunst, München (D) and a show at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp (BE). In 2008, Forever. The Management of Magic was organized at David Zwirner, New York, NY. In 2009, the exhibition Against The Day will be held at Wiels which will travel to Rooseum- Moderna Museet in Malmo (SV). In 2010, several American museums have invited Tuymans to have a large solo exhibition at their institutes.

Wiels Contemporary Art Center | Luc Tuymans | Queen Paoloa | Belgium | Jesuit |

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July 16, 2009

First Solo Exhibition in Brussels for Luc Tuymans at Wiels Contemporary Art Center

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