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Luc Tuymans (born 1958) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. Tuymans is considered one of the most influential painters working today. His signature figurative paintings transform mediated film, television, and print sources into examinations of history and memory.

Luc Tuymans @ MCAChi [450300_R1-08476-0019.1]

Luc Tuymans exhibit, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Tuymans was born in Mortsel, Belgium. He began his studies in the fine arts at the Sint-Lukasinstituut in Brussels in 1976. Subsequently he studied fine arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels, Belgium (1979–1980) and at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, Belgium (1980–1982). He also studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, Belgium (1982–1986). He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp in Antwerp, Belgium and was honored by the Belgian government when they bestowed upon him the title of Commander, Order of Leopold in 2007. He is married to Venezuelan artist Carla Arocha.

9/16/09 Luc Tuymans Press Preview

9/16/09 Luc Tuymans Press Preview


The artist has been the focus of several retrospectives at various international institutions, including the Műcsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest, Hungary; Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany; and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland.

The artist’s first comprehensive U.S. retrospective opens in September 2009 at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (September 17, 2009 to January 3, 2010) and travels to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Against the Day, an exhibition of new works inspired by one of Tuymans' favorite authors, Thomas Pynchon, is Tuymans' most recent international solo exhibition. Against the Day originated at Wiels Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium (April 23, 2009-August 2, 2009) and is traveling to Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow Russia (September 25, 2009-November 8, 2009) and Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö, Sweden (December 26, 2009-April 25, 2010).

Tuymans has recently been the subject of one-person exhibitions at Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven, Germany; MuHKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium (both 2007); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal; Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva, Switzerland (both 2006); and the Tate Modern, London, England (2004).

His numerous, recent group exhibitions include Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (2009); Collecting Collections: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Doing it My Way: Perspectives in Belgian Art, Museum Küppersmuhle für Moderne Kunst, Duisberg, Germany (2008); What is Painting? Contemporary Art From the Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Fast Forward: Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; The Painting of Modern Life, The Hayward Gallery, London, England and Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (2007); Essential Painting, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea, Codroipo, Italy (2006).

The artist also curates exhibitions, and is organizing the second in a series of cross-cultural exhibitions that brings together Belgian and Chinese art. His exhibition, The State of Things: Brussels/Beijing, will travel from the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium to Beijing. In 2010-2011 he will be the guest curator for the inaugural Bruges Central art festival in Bruges, Belgium. He is represented by David Zwirner, New York.


Work by the artist is held in the public collections of various museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany; Museum fuer Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; and the Tate Gallery, London, England. [2]

Further reading


* Marcus, J.S. (July 2009). "Luc Tuymans Captures the Moment".
* Beyst, Stefan (August 2007). "The secret charms of Luc Tuymans".
* Van Pee, Yasmine (October 2007). "Unnatural Resources".

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