Luc Tuymans was born in 1958 in Mortsel, Belgium. To this day he lives and works in Antwerp. Luc Tuymans began to study Fine art at the Lukasinstituut in Brussels in 1976. Subsequently he studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels. In 1992 he was selected by Jan Hoet for Documenta in Kassel, Germany. In the same year the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland gave him an international forum. In 2001 Luc Tuymans represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale showing a series on Belgian Congo. In 2004 Luc Tuymans had an extensive solo exhibition at the Tate Modern in London.
Luc Tuymans is considered one of the most significant and influential contemporary painters. He is one of the key figures of a new generation of figurative painters who have continued to paint during a time when many believed the medium had lost its relevance. Today, Luc Tuymans’ work can be found in prominent museums all over the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art Georges Pompidou, Paris, as well as in many major collections.
A comprehensive retrospective exhibition has recently started in the USA and will be shown in 4 important museums in the US. The exhibition started in the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, and will go from there to respectively the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, to end in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. This exposition was worked on for a number of years by Harvard specialists. Many specialists expect this exposition to give a major “further boost” to Luc Tuymans’ international fame.
Nearly all Luc Tuymans’ paintings are based on existing imagery, ranging from drawings, personal photographs, artefacts and movie stills. He almost always focuses on specific meanings reaching beyond what is shown, often with a content based on historical facts and materials. His subjects range from historical events, such as the Holocaust or the politics in Belgian Congo, to banal wallpaper patterns, Christmas decorations, everyday subjects.
Over the last 20 years Luc Tuymans produced a wide range of prints and editions, published in a variety of cities all over the world. For each print / edition Luc Tuymans makes the time and makes the effort as if it were a painting. As a result, the print / edition collection contains some magnificent editions and series.
A catalogue summarizing prints and editions is not available yet, but an overview of all prints and multiples was shown at an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (MuHKA) in the summer of 2007. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue “Luc Tuymans. I don’t get it”. The catalogue has pictures of some of the nicest prints / editions.
Luc Tuymans, Retrospective
Friday 18.02 – Sunday 08.05.2011
Centre for Fine Arts
This retrospective, which has toured the US, is a co-production by SFMOMA (San Francisco) and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. It presents 75 key paintings by the Belgian artist Luc Tuymans. Dating from 1978 to the present day, these works are part of major series that the artist himself has made enter into a dialogue with each other. Employing a mixture of multimedia techniques and traditional painting, Luc Tuymans holds before us a distinctive mirror of history, memory, and media. He has worked on the consequences of the Second World War and of 11 September, as well as on postcolonialism in the Congo. These paintings could be said to resemble a mere chronicle of everyday life, were it not for the fact that they raise, under the surface, the great questions of our time.
Curators: Madeleine Grynsztejn, Helen Molesworth
Luc Tuymans – Retrospective is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, Columbus. Generous support is provided by Bruce and Martha Atwater. Additional support is provided by Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, and Flanders House, the new cultural forum for Flanders (Belgium) in the United States.