Luc Tuymans

February 06-May 02, 2010

Influenced by the Northern European painting tradition as well as by photography, television, and cinema, Luc Tuymans blends filmic techniques with a mastery of painting to explore issues of history, memory, and the mass media. The artist has addressed the lingering effects of World War II, the postcolonial situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the dramatic turn of world events after 9/11, topics that have led him to a sustained investigation of the pathological and the conspiratorial. Making ingenious use of cropping, close-ups, framing, and sequencing, Tuymans's paintings initially suggest relatively innocuous depictions of everyday life — but other meanings almost always lurk beneath their surfaces. This is the first U.S. retrospective for the Belgian artist and the most comprehensive presentation of his work to date, with approximately 75 key paintings from 1985 to the present.

Luc Tuymans is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Generous support is provided by Bruce and Martha Atwater. Additional support is provided by Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein; Flanders House, the new cultural forum for Flanders (Belgium) in the United States; and SFMOMA's Collectors Forum.

  • Luc Tuymans, painting of condoleezza rice
    Luc Tuymans, The Secretary of State, 2005; oil on canvas; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, promised gift of David and Monica Zwirner, 2006; Luc Tuymans; photo: courtesy David Zwirner, New York
  • Luc Tuymans, painting of room interior
    Luc Tuymans, Gaskamer (Gas Chamber), 1986; oil on canvas; The Over Holland Collection. In honor of Caryl Chessman; Luc Tuymans; photo: Peter Cox, courtesy The Over Holland Collection
  • photo of Luc Tuymans in studio
    Luc Tuymans; photo: Grant Delin / Courtesy David Zwirner, New York