Courtesy of Palazzo Grassi
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani e Marco Cappelletti
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
March 24, 2019 - January 6, 2020
More details on: https://www.palazzograssi.it/it/mostre/in-corso/luc-tuymans-la-pelle/
As part of the cycle of monographic shows and ‘carte blanche’ dedicated to major contemporary artists, launched in 2012 and alternating with thematic exhibitions of the Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi presents Luc Tuymans’ first personal exhibition in Italy.
Curated by Caroline Bourgeois in collaboration with the artist (Mortsel, Belgium, 1958), the show is entitled ‘La Pelle’ (The Skin), after Curzio Malaparte’s 1949 novel. It includes over 80 works from the Pinault Collection, international museums and private collections, and focuses on the artist’s paintings from 1986 to today. The exhibition path is not chronological. It suggests dialogues and comparisons and rather insist on the spatialisation of the artworks.
Considered as one of the most influential painters of the international art scene, Luc Tuymans has been dedicating himself to figurative painting since the mid 1980s and has contributed throughout his career to the rebirth of this medium in contemporary art. His works deal with questions connected to the past and to more recent history and address subjects of our daily lives through a set of images borrowed from the private and public spheres – the press, television, the Internet. The artist renders these images by dissolving them in an unusual and rarefied light; the slight anxiety that emanates from them is able to trigger – according to the artist himself – an ‘authentic forgery’ of reality.
As Caroline Bourgeois states: “Whilst taking inspiration from existing images, Luc Tuymans’ approach to painting has nothing to do with perfect representation, but rather with taking a risk. The artist claims that painting should entail a void, a flaw, and it is in this ‘absence’ that the visitor should rewrite his own version of the story, its narrative. In this sense, his work could be better described as conceptual, rather than figurative. Another fascinating aspect of his work is its being silent: his paintings are often monochromes, with dull shades that range from warmer to colder, with a flattened perspective. He does not intend to take the visitor by the hand, he is asking him to make an effort to come closer; a reflection and a physicality instead”.
The exhibition includes a site-specific artwork, conceived for the atrium of Palazzo Grassi: a marble mosaic of over 80 square meters which reproduces Schwarzheide, an artwork painted in 1986 by the artist. With a title that comes from a German forced-labor camp, the artwork refers to the drawing by a prisoner in the course of his detention period during the Second World War. The mosaic is the only non-pictorial artwork presented in the exhibition.
Up-To-Date is a section curated by Giulia Guanella