Screenprint on Rives Arches 250 gram
56 × 73.5 cm
Edition of 80 copies, signed and numbered by the artist
Out of stock
about this work
The painting Orchid, on which this screenprint is based, dates from 1998 and is one of Tuymans’ best-known and most emblematic works. The artist explains how he was inspired by the idea that certain flowers change gender in reaction to climate change. This led Tuymans to paint an orchid, a flower with a strong feminine and erotic connotation. Orchid is characterised by a high level of tension. The yellow-green tints allude to fertility and growth, but the mud brown is a reminder of decay and sterility. The colours may be organic, but the flower nevertheless makes an artificial, almost toxic impression. Tuymans claims to have borrowed the fluorescent green colour from the transparent plastic cover of a notepad. So we see what was originally a colourful flower through an artificial filter, which enhances the enigmatic aspect. Tuymans’ Orchid might have been taken from Charles Baudelaire’s Fleurs du mal, in which a ‘sublime carcass’ is compared with ‘a flower that is just opening’. Green is the colour not only of budding nature but also of rotting. Orchid is an ode to the beauty of decay, a vanitas emblem for today.
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 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.