The Return | Luc Tuymans

Retrospective of an influential Belgian painter

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Tuymans never hides away from difficult subjects. Even more so, he loves confronting every existing taboo. What you will look at seems banal: a lamp, an empty room and a close up of a face. Nevertheless you cannot escape this dark catastrophic feeling sneaking up on you.
Selected by: Inez de Coo, Film and art curator

Luc Tuymans’s paintings almost seem abstract. Painting with pale colours, he depicts historical moments, people and objects. Take for example his painting of a typical lamp. Look close and you will see that it is actually owned by an SS officer and made of human skin. Or the close-up of a human face, which turns out to be a portrait of a terminally ill woman in the last phase of her life. In painting these scenes, Tuymans seeks to break the taboos surrounding atrocities like xenophobia, child abuse and the Holocaust by depicting their banality. He casts these subjects in a new light and gives these images the meaning and purpose that our saturated media landscape has stripped away from them.

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