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Absence is the highest form of presence

Absence is the highest form of presence, 2009 - Luc Tuymans

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about this work

Absence is the Highest Form of Presence, consisting of a light box with 9 slides by Luc Tuymans, 9 by Julião Sarmento and 9 by Robert Gober. It was published on the occasion of the eponymous group show with three internationally renowned artists, Robert Gober, Julião Sarmento & Luc Tuymans, at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Deurle in 2009. This ambitious exhibition-project unified the two passions of one of the best curators of his generation (Michael Tarantino, who died in 2003), namely film and visual arts. Old and new work of the artists was brought together in an exhibition, which combined film, painting and sculptural installations. Like the exhibition, this edition can be considered as a ‘conversation piece’, an intense dialogue between the oeuvre of the different artists. In this way, the viewer can be challenged to explore new perspectives and interpretations in the different works.

about Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans is considered one of the most significant European painters of his generation, and has been an enduring influence on younger and emerging artists. Tuymans is an inheritor to the vast tradition of Northern European painting, while his relationship to the medium was strongly influenced by photography, television, and cinema.He paints distinctive compositions, consisting of ingenious use of cropping, close-ups and framing. By means of a muted palette, his easily recognizable, sparsely coloured, figurative canvases have redefined the traditional genres of the everyday and history painting.

Through a filmic or photographic gaze, Tuymans retakes heavily loaded themes from the recent past and examines footage on their deceptive authenticity, which often results in ambiguous and disorienting paintings. Frequently the notion of power and violence can be considered a leitmotiv throughout his artistic oeuvre.

Luc Tuymans has had important solo exhibitions at international institutions, including Tate Modern, London; Haus der Kunst in Munich; The Menil Collection, Houston; and Moderna Museet, Malmö; amongst many others. Tuymans's first retrospective in the United States was jointly organized by the Wexner Center, Columbus, SF MoMA, the Dallas Museum of Art and MCA, Chicago.

In 1992, Tuymans was invited to show at Documenta for the first time. His numerous, recent group exhibitions have since included François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; MoMA, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Hayward Gallery, London; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; and Essential Painting at National Museum of Art, Osaka. Tuymans also represented Belgium at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001.

His works are featured in prominent museum collections worldwide, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; MoMA, New York; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Collection, London.

Luc Tuymans is represented by the following galleries;
click through to discover more of his work.

Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

David Zwirner Gallery, New York / London

You can also view more works of Luc Tuymans on his own website.

Learn more about this artist