Luc Tuymans - Contemporary Art and Design Evening Sale New York Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

  • Exhibited

    Antwerp, Zeno X Storage, Luc Tuymans. "NIKS," November 23, 2002 - January 18, 2003
    Hannover, Kunstverein Hannover, Luc Tuymans, THE ARENA, March 9 - April 27, 2003, then traveled to Munich, Pinakothek der Moderne (June 6 - August 10, 2003), St. Gallen, Kunstverein St. Gallen Kunstmuseum (August 23 - November 16, 2003)
    Deurle, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Absence is the Highest Form of Presence, Robert Gober, Julião Sarmento, Luc Tuymans, October 4 - November 29, 2009

  • Literature

    S. Berg, Luc Tuymans, THE ARENA, exh. cat., Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2003, p. 40 (illustrated)
    U. Loock, Luc Tuymans, London: Phaidon, 2003, p. 230 (illustrated)
    Absence is the Highest Form of Presence, Robert Gober, Julião Sarmento, Luc Tuymans, Museum Doordacht, Magazine vol. 8, Deurle, 2009, p. 94 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Art creates its own time span and in that sense also creates its own time lapse: you are looking at something that accords time to an image, as it is made and as it shows itself."
    Luc Tuymans, 2005

    Through his pale and transcendent paintings, Luc Tuymans explores history and memory through strategic methods of visual composition. By cropping, framing, and isolating his scenes, Tuymans is actively re-invigorating the traditional act of painting. The present lot, Exhibit #2, 2002, belongs to Tuyman’s Exhibit series originally comprised of five works. The pictorial imagery found in this serial group is based upon an exhibit seen by Tuymans at the Museum of Natural History in Tokyo; the dioramas seen there depict primates in various stages of sexual reproduction. These scenes were documented by Tuymans with Polaroids and then reproduced in paint. Exhibit #2, 2002 has been rendered in matte, pale tones, mimicking the deadening light that shone upon the taxidermy ape within the museum setting. The muted greys, lavenders, greens and coral gives the illusion of an under exposed photograph or one visually faded by age and the bleaching effects of light. This frozen moment of a primate, taxidermied and stuffed, photographed and painted, has been depicted in a sexual exploit, one naturally inherit to the development and natural pattern of life and instinct.

    Tuymans explains that “when I thought about trying to paint the sexual act for example, I came to the conclusion that it was impossible to depict, because it is timeless. It is a timeless repetition.” (Luc Tuymans in J. Vicente Aliaga, “Interview,” Luc Tuymans, London, 2007, p. 22) This “timeless repetition” implicates the entire concept of representation and its perceived falsities on many levels: from nature to museum display to photograph to painting. By exploring this chain of transmission, Tuymans removes the natural specimen as far as possible from its “original” state in nature and creatively re-appropriates it for this provocative and powerful work.


Exhibit #2

oil on canvas
33 3/8 x 38 7/8 in. (84.7 x 99 cm)

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $305,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale, Contemporary Art
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale, Design
New York
+ 1 212 940 1266

Contemporary Art and Design Evening Sale

New York Auction 3 March 2015 6pm