Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans
Born 1958
Mortsel, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Movement Contemporary art
Field Painting
Works View Complete Works

Luc Tuymans (born 1958) resides and works in his hometown of Antwerp, Belgium a small town called Mortsel which is near his present town of residence. At 18 years of age, he entered the Sint Lukas Instituut to begin the study of fine arts. At 19, he obtained a sequence of paintings from a Spanish Renaissance painter, sculptor and artist named Doménikos Theotokópoulos (nicknamed The Greek).

Tuymans was a guard for a railway company. He began studying the arts at a Brussels art institute from 1979 until 1980 when he returned to Antwerp and transferred his studies to the Antwerp art institute where he studied another two years. Tuymans decided to change his mode of studying the fine arts in lieu of Art history and from 1982 until 1986 he attended the Brussels University and spent three years delving into film and video. Mr. Tuymans married a Venezuelan artist named Carla Arocha.

Artist’s Styles

Luc Tuymans was well known for his imagistic paintings emerged when there were very few contemporary painters using this style of art. His subjects varied from the events of history such as the events pertaining to the Holocaust to the insignificant and commonplace wallpaper patterns. Additionally, he painted other Blaise works such as Christmas ornaments.

Emotion As Style

It was not until the 1990s that Tuymans first became recognized with the painting Gas Chamber. This painting is a very eloquent and harsh depiction of the concentration camp in Dachau, Germany where many people died in the camps gas chambers. The orchestration of this painting was the result of Tuymans historical studies of WWII European history.

In 2000 Tuymans rekindled viewer’s interest with his progression of political paintings, the first of which was titled Beautiful Boy. Beautiful Boy was a work of art that took different scenes from the King of Belguim, King Baudouin, when he visited in the 1950s. The most spectacular of these paintings was that of King Baudouin in his full white military uniform.

Every Picture Tells A Story

Tuymans’ scantly-colored figures usually are painted with quick strokes of the artist’s brush which are wet brush bristles applied over wet paint on canvas. Additionally they are on a conservative scale and emanate their subjects from other sources such as photographs or video still shots.

It is perhaps due to Tuymans’ style of applying wet paint on top of a wet painted canvas which gives many of his works a slight blurry appearance. However, the seemingly out of focus painting is actually quite sharp because rather than being wiped away, the artist just paints the image. It is Tuymans’ belief that a painting should depict the emotions of the subject/theme with the feeling of the artist.

Memories Reborn

Tuymans’ paintings embody numerous chimerical and formal polarity. In one instance, during a 2002 art documentary based on political and social events, many assumed Tuymans would create a work of art depicting the Twin Towers assault. However, rather than recreating these horrendous attacks in his art, he instead chose to disregard world events and painted a simple still life image on a very large scale.

Tuymans paintings, such as those dealing with the Holocaust, call forth memories many would prefer to keep buried deep within their sub-conscious. In his historical works, Tuymans attempts to invoke the stark emotional image of the reality of the catastrophic event. He wants to convey the bitter reality of these catastrophes as more comprehensive than they are presented to the public today, where the raw and brutal truth is void of the totality of facts. Therefore, Tuymans strives to create the historical event in such a factual artistic reality that one who views the canvas cannot remove themselves from the emotion that is wrought within.

Art Exhibitions

In 2001, Tuymans acted as ambassador for Belguim at the Bieannle Venice and has been the center of a number of retrospectives at numerous world-wide events including the Budapest Hungry Institute, The House of Art in Southern Germany, and at the National Art Gallery in Warsaw Poland as well as numerous others. In September 2009, Tuymans’ first comprehensive works opened at the Columbus Ohio art center before traveling to Art Museums in San Francisco, California; Dallas, Texas; and Chicago, Illinois.

The Invitation

In 1992, Tuymans received an invitation to present at the exhibition contemporary and modern art in Kassel Germany. Mr. Tuymans is known as a sculptor, painter and artist who has created numerous works of art, many of which are on display at Art Museums world-wide.

Of all the paintings that Tuymans has executed, he is perhaps best known for such pieces as Gas Chamber 1986, Mwana Kitoko 2000 and Against The Day which he exhibited in 2009 in Brussels. These are just a few of his most notable works. Besides his sculpting and painting, Tuymans also oversees exhibits. He organized a cross cultural exhibition to unite Chinese and Belgian Art. This series of exhibitions was called “The State of Things” and would travel from Brussels, Belgium to Beijing, China.