August 10, 2009 - Wexner Center for the Arts - Luc Tuymans
August 10, 2009

Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans
Der diagnostische Blick V (The Diagnostic View V), 1992
Oil on canvas; 22 7/8 x 16 1/2 in. (58.1 x 41.9 cm)
Private collection
© Luc Tuymans
Photo: courtesy Zeno X Gallery

Luc Tuymans
September 17, 2009 – January 3, 2010

1871 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210
614 292-3535


The first U.S. retrospective of the work of Luc Tuymans—and the most comprehensive presentation of his work to date—will debut at the Wexner Center for the Arts this fall. Jointly organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Wexner Center, Luc Tuymans spans every phase of the influential painter’s career and features more than 70 key paintings from 1978 to the present.

Luc Tuymans (b. 1958 in Antwerp) is considered one of the most significant European painters of his generation. Interested in the lingering effects of World War II on the lives of Europeans, Tuymans explores issues of history and memory, as well as the relationship between photography and painting, using a muted palette to create canvases that are simultaneously withholding and disarmingly stark. His work might initially suggest relatively innocuous depictions of everyday life, yet there is almost always another meaning lurking beneath the surface. The artist’s more recent work touches on the postcolonial situation in the Congo and the dramatic turn of world events after 9/11.

After the Wexner Center, Luc Tuymans will appear at SFMOMA (February 6 to May 2, 2010), the Dallas Museum of Art (June 6 to September 5, 2010), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (October 2, 2010 to January 9, 2011), and the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (February 11 to May 8, 2011). The retrospective is co-curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Helen Molesworth, Maisie K. and James R. Houghton Curator of Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museum.

“Without question, the time is ripe for an in-depth retrospective of Tuymans’s work in this country,” said Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin. “We are thrilled to collaborate with SFMOMA on this exhibition, which is certain to reveal new insights into the creative, intellectual, and political forces that have propelled Luc’s unique and vastly influential body of work over the last 25 years.”

The exhibition catalogue will be the most comprehensive volume on the artist to date, with essays by Molesworth, Bill Horrigan, Joseph Leo Koerner, and Ralph Rugoff, with an introduction by the co-curators.

Tuymans will be in conversation with scholar T.J. Clark November 10 at the Wexner Center.

Lead support for the exhibition is generously provided by Bruce and Martha Atwater. Significant support is provided by Carla Emil/Rich Silverstein and by Flanders House, the new cultural forum for Flanders (Belgium) in the United States.

Accommodations in Columbus are provided by The Blackwell Inn.

All Wexner Center exhibitions and related events receive support from Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members, as well as Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Luc Tuymans is represented by David Zwirner, New York, and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp.

More info:

Also on view during this time:
, a new site-responsive, photo-based work by rising international artist Walead Beshty installed in the Wexner Center’s lower lobby. Beshty’s project draws on the same 12.25˚ angle that Peter Eisenman used to design the Wexner Center, rendering the architect’s distinctive system as a highly fractured pictorial environment, and in the process drawing critical attention to the specific physical, cerebral, and visual conditions of the space.

The Shortest Shadow, an exhibition featuring two sound-based installations by Susan Philipsz: The Dead (2000), a 35mm projection with sound based on a Irish ballad featured in John Huston’s 1987 film adaption of James Joyce’s short story The Dead; and Sunset Song (2003), an outdoor installation featuring two a cappella renditions of the folk song Banks of the Ohio. Accompanied by a brochure featuring essays by the Wexner Center’s Christopher Bedford and Bill Horrigan.

Wexner Center for the Arts
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