La Correspondance [The Correspondence]

Luc Tuymans


Painting, 140 x 100 cm.
Materials: oil on canvas

Collection: M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK007270).

“I stopped painting from 1981 to 1985 because it became too suffocating and too existential. And somebody by accident shoved a Super-8 camera in my hands and I started to film. And then I came back. Making images is important in the sense that you need distance...This was the first painting made after the film adventure. And it’s actually one of my most conceptual works, and it’s based upon an anecdote. The anecdote is from a Dutch writer who was stationed in the Dutch Embassy from 1905 to 1910. And he didn’t have enough money to bring his wife over to Berlin. And in those days, you had the grand cafes with very bourgeois interiors, and postcards taken of them. So, every time he went to eat in such places he bought a postcard, and with a red pencil he crossed out the table at which he had eaten, and he sent it to his wife for the duration of five years. So that’s why it’s called correspondence. It’s also the idea of persistence, and homesickness without end.” – Luc Tuymans on La Correspondance in "Luc Tuymans: in his own words" by Bean Gilsdorf

How are you? - the most frequently asked question by Ukrainians in conversations with their loved ones. The significance of the work by Tuymans comes down to the feeling and process of missing somebody close, waiting for another message, finding a way of correspondence.

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