Luc Tuymans is recognised as one of the most significant and influential contemporary painters working today and “Against the Day” is the most recent of a trilogy of exhibitions which critique utopic ideals in society. The first looked at the power structures of the Jesuit religious order; the second, “Forever: The Magic of Management,” addressed the impact of the fantasy world of Walt Disney; and the current show, which takes its title and inspiration from the American novelist, Thomas Pynchon’s latest work, explores aspects of virtual reality and its impact on our perception of reality.
In this show, Tuymans drew his subject matter from sources as diverse as video games, reality television shows and cell phone photography. In Big Brother (2008) the artist renders a still of a bedroom from the popular UK reality show as an abandoned barrack, or chamber of a secret sect. The diptych Neck Hair (2009) focuses on what appears to be a man’s advancing baldness recorded by a surveillance camera. It is, however, derived from a less reliable 3D animation program. Sniper (2009) takes an image of sniper fire which he found online, replaces it with another which depicts the same event, and then mediates it through a virtual simulator. Fascinated by this substitution, Tuymans attempts to restore the immediacy of the original image.
“Against the Day” was organized by curator Dirk Snauwaert and presented in conjunction with BAIBAKOV art projects’ Maria Baibakova and Kate Sutton. The 20 new works were launched at the new Wiels centre for contemporary art in Brussels in February 2009, where they marked the artist’s long overdue first solo exhibition in his home country. Following its run in Moscow, the exhibition continued to the Rooseum- Moderna Museet, Malmo in Sweden.
Luc Tuymans boasts an extensive exhibition history. Since his first major solo show at David Zwirner Gallery in New York in 1988, he has enjoyed multiple international exhibitions every year in venues such as Portikus, Frankfurt; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
“Against the Day” became the first solo exhibition to be held by BAIBAKOV art projects, which has previously held group shows of contemporary art from Russia, London and America.
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© 2010 BAIBAKOV art projects