Luc Tuymans

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° 1958

Born in Mortsel (BE), lives in Antwerp (BE).

Luc Tuymans was born in 1958 in Mortsel, Belgium. He lives in Antwerp. After studying painting and art history in Brussels and Antwerp he emerged as an artist in the mid-1980s. His first, self-organised, solo exhibition took place in the once grand Thermae Palace in Ostend in 1985. Tuymans has since made a name for himself as one of the most accomplished and most sought-after contemporary painters. The series Der diagnostische Blick (‘The Diagnostic Look', 1992) might be called his international breakthrough, with its reinterpretation of the painterly based on images from a medical handbook dedicated to a goal-orientated yet disinterested vision. Quite the opposite of what painting often claims for itself. We recognise the formal characteristics of Tuymans’s work: the muted palette, the horizontal brushstrokes, the blurred and cropped imagery. In numerous series of painted images Tuymans has addressed other controversial topics, such as the Second World War (often working from photographs reproduced in the wartime Nazi propaganda magazine Signal), the Belgian Congo (Mwana Kitoko, in the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2001) or contemporary global politics (The Secretary of State, after a photograph of Condoleezza Rice).

 

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