Luc Tuymans John Playfair, 2014

“We can paint by following a certain movement, we can also develop our individual style – which, in my opinion, is rather dangerous – but the most important thing is the meaning that we create in our works. Everyone can use the possibilities offered by today’s technologies to create their own images and meanings. Because, in my opinion, art cannot be created from art. It is created from reality. The reality in which we live, the reality that has been created by history. They are connected.” Luc Tuymans in conversation with Elīna Čivle-Üye, November 7, 2013.

Can Abstraction be real? Can it be reality? What would such a thing look like? How would it act as a painting? For Luc Tuymans reality comes from the imagery that washes over us. It can be found in the processes, productions and manufactured reality of programs.

“I had a fascination with that time period, because I had clearly made a decision not to make art for art’s sake. I wasn’t interested in slotting into a tradition of modernism or postmodernism — to try to position myself in such a way was not an option. The only option was to work from the real, and to look at a time period that was close to mine, historically, and which was decisive. Apart from the autobiographical element, it’s also one of the periods when Europe lost its powers. With the idea of the Holocaust comes a psychological breakdown. Those elements were culminating, and had to culminate in a lot of imagery.” Luc Tuymans in conversation with Jason Farago, October 29, 2018.

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