Luc Tuymans | Studio

artists, Luc Tuymans


‘I paint one day a week. The rest of the time is mental preparation. I do not leave the studio.’

TateShots visited Luc Tuymans at his Studio in his home city of Antwerp. He discusses the process and concepts behind his work.



Tuymans + Sasnal

about, artists, Luc Tuymans

A lot has been written about the relationship between the Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal and Luc Tuymans. Both artists (each represented by Saatchi Gallery) incorporate found, banal and everyday images of mass media into a wider socio-political narrative worked into their paintings, prints and drawings. Influences from art history and 20th century propaganda are used to heavily influence their works, presenting visually fragmented appropriations of historical events and persons; the stronghold of the Soviet Union, Alexander Rodchenko, suicide bombing, the holocaust and British celebrity culture.

Tuymans + Raeburn

artists, Luc Tuymans

From a young age, Tuymans has always admired the portraits of Scottish painter Henry Raeburn (1756 – 1832).

Working with Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Tuymans was given the opportunity to choose a selection of paintings by the Scottish enlightenment painter to exhibit his work with in the Gallery space.

The Arena | Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans

In anticipation of the exhibition Between poles and tides, Luc Tuymans gifted a series of prints of his triptych, ‘The Arena’ to the gallery.

The paintings, true to the style of Tuymans present a fragmented, and mysterious representation of everyday, human activities.

This is an exciting opportunity for the gallery to be able to both show and offer for purchase the work of an important contemporary artist practising today.

Read more details on the University’s website below:

Image courtesy of Chris Park

A selection of words…

Luc Tuymans

Have a perusal through these articles for more information, insight and interpretation on Luc Tuymans and his artwork.

In conversation with Martin Herbert for ArtReview:

“The artist, for all his theoretic rigour, is lastingly concerned with medium-specific issues, but in interviews he usually emphasises his art’s conceptual exoskeleton. Here, as he prepared to bring his new work to London, Tuymans sat over coffee and cigarettes in his sunny Antwerp studio and talked about painting – his anxieties in front of the canvas, thinking slow and painting fast, the medium’s purported ‘weakness’ – and, additionally, about van Eyck, parrots, filmmaking and why he avoids looking at his own art.”


With Matt Smith on abstraction for Artspace:

“Although he is an accomplished figurative painter, the Belgian artist Luc Tuymans has always had a strong abstract element in his work. His paintings, he likes to say, “border on the idea of abstraction.” Nonetheless, he has struggled with the artistic approach from time to time. Over the years he’s found abstraction “existential” and “tormented,” and has felt “suffocated” by it.”


With Ben Eastham for Apollo Magazine:

“We meet at the artist’s studio in Antwerp, the city, he tells me, ‘of smartasses and troublemakers’. There is something of the two in Tuymans, whose bluff manner and imposing stature suggest a personality unlikely to suffer fools gladly, but whose intelligence and curiosity come to the fore in his sharp, wide-ranging discussion of literature, art and politics.”

Birds of a Feather | Talbot Rice Gallery

artists, Luc Tuymans

One of the most influential painters working today, for his first exhibition in Scotland, at Talbot Rice Gallery in the autumn of 2015, this provocative artist brought together his work with that of the most significant of Scottish Enlightenment portrait painters, Henry Raeburn. Utilising images of yellow and pink canaries, anonymous gatherings of people and Raeburn’s sombre black-robed academics, Birds of a Feather will associate themes of  independence, enlightenment and social control.

Tuymans as Curator

about, artists, Luc Tuymans

In addition to his plethora of paintings, prints and drawings, Tuymans has also curated a number of shows throughout the years….

Curator of:


18 October 2009- 10 January 2010


Image courtesy of The State of Things

Guest Curated:



Image courtesy of Bruges Triennial

Curator of:


16 March 2012- 4 August 2013

Introduction | Luc Tuymans

Introduction, Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans is a Belgian artist who is widely accredited with the amelioration of painting as an artistic medium.

Contextually; following on from the Conceptual Art movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, Tuymans can be placed within a wider shift happening in the 80’s, where due to a revival of the art market and art dealers, painting saw its own renascence.

Living through the newly image saturated world of the late 20th century, Tuymans’ work aims to create meditations of these images of mass media through paints and prints. While his paintings appropriate often banal and ordinary found images and photographs, the summation of such images come to embody and represent major historic political and social events, such as the holocaust and the fall of the Berlin wall.

Additionally, Tuymans’ work can take on philosophical narratives; the impermeable layers created through his paintings hint at existentialism, distraction and passion.

Tuymans’ work can be both viewed and bought throughout the exhibition Between poles and tides. His tryptic of prints ‘The Arena’ are hung on the upper level of Gallery One, and also available as limited editions, to purchase from the gallery.

Lauren Hawkins, Talbot Rice Gallery Intern.