signed 'Luc Tuymans' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
19 x 22 1/4 in. (48.5 x 56.4cm.)
Painted in 1992
Artist or Maker: Luc Tuymans (b. 1958)
Exhibited: Krefeld, Museum Haus Lange, Luc Tuymans, May-July 1993 (illustrated).
London, Tate Modern, Luc Tuymans, June-September 2004, no. 23 (illustrated in colour, p. 58). This exhibition later travelled to Dusseldorf, K21, October-January 2005.
Literature: U. Loock, J.V. Aliaga and N. Spector (eds.), Luc Tuymans, London 1996 (illustrated in colour, p. 76).
U. Loock, J.V. Aliaga, N. Spector and H.R. Reust (eds.), Luc Tuymans, London 2003 (illustrated in colour, p. 76).
Provenance: Galerie Isabella Kacprzac, Cologne.
Zwirner & Wirth, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Notes: Property from a Private American Collector
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Luc Tuymans' art thrives in the realms of the uncanny and the unrepresented. In Lamproom, painted in 1992, the viewer is presented with a partial view of the world, of a non-descript room with electrical appliances apparent. The title gives nothing away. However, the pale colour in which the lamproom is bathed fills the work with a vaguely sinister atmosphere. There is nothing alien in Lamproom. It is recognisable as a part of our own universe, but is a distorted and disjointed view. The unknown, or uncanny, hovers over the viewer's awareness, a nagging presence that highlights the complex act of seeing and understanding Tuymans' paintings, the world within them, and the world around us. His deliberate refusal to limit information through both the image and the title leaves the viewer strangely vulnerable.
The lamproom, represented with such a deft economy of means, appears functional and even clinical. This functionality is similar to that of another painting by Tuymans from the same period, Gaskamer, which in actual fact showed a gas chamber. Thus, looking at Lamproom, any knowledge of Tuymans' other works fills the viewer with even more foreboding. While there is nothing overtly violent in Lamproom, and nothing disturbing, the potential for violence lurks under the surface in what has not been disclosed: 'Violence is the only structure underlying my work. It is both physical and detached at the same time' (Tuymans, quoted in R. Storr, 'A Worst Case Scenario', pp. 13-39, Luc Tuymans: Mwana Kotoko, Beautiful White Man, exh. cat., Ghent 2001, p. 35).
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