4574 - BELGIQUE- LA LOUVIERE - Luc Tuymans - Suspended, L’œuvre imprimé (1989-2014) - 07.02.2015-10.05.2015


Luc Tuymans was born in 1958 in Antwerp, where he currently lives and works. He studied the art of painting in Brussels, already experimented with engravings, but had a passion for the immediacy of photo and film techniques. From 1980 until 1985, this artist developed his scenario-writing skills and made some short films. After 1985, he rediscovered his love for painting. Luc Tuymans hasn’t stopped painting ever since, relying on a personal repertory of source images taken from different media.
This exhibition will reveal an unknown aspect of his work : his prints work from 1989 until nowadays.
Luc Tuymans is an influential contemporary artist who is widely credited with having contributed to the revival of painting during the 1990s. With a reduced palette and through a selective reworking of existing images, he addresses issues such as history, the World War II, the spectre of the Belgian Congo, child abuse and corporate and religious powers in an indirect. Each artwork addresses the nature of images and how we deal with them in contemporary society. Through lifting these images out of their usual timescale the artist allows us to look at them anew.

Luc Tuymans has worked in other media throughout his career: drawings, oil sketches, film, maquettes, photography, mosaics and printed media. These all play a substantial role in his continuing investigations into how images convey, conceal or subvert meaning. Luc Tuymans’ artworks have always involved the creation of a critical distance towards the original, found image. He creates this distance through the introduction of a time-delay, the insertion of the image into groups of images that together create new and complex conceptual meanings, through carefully chosen, ironic titles and by means of some sort of visual deterioration.

This retrospective of Luc Tuymans’ graphic works –featuring silkscreen prints, lithography, etchings and drawings - shows how every printed medium imparts its own influence. Whereas Tuymans’ paintings are often produced within the timeframe of a single day, printmaking is an arena for experimentation that allows Luc Tuymans to further explore and dismantle the mechanics of image making.

Such a visual deterioration can be achieved through re-photographing an image multiple times with a Polaroid camera or an iPhone, resulting in a washed-out image. It can also be introduced through the processes of printmaking, for example through the separation into colour-layers in screenprinting, which rearticulates the original painting in subtle ways. At the same time, the advantages of multiple print editions allow this Luc Tuymans’ work to be disseminated among wider audiences.

This exhibition is therefor a celebration of both the extensive graphic oeuvre of a prolific artist that confirms the relevance of analogue printmaking in contemporary art today.
Centre de la Gravure et de l’Image - Luc Tuymans - Suspended, L’œuvre imprimé (1989-2014)