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 Luc Tuymans, Belgian Abstraction, Parasol Unit
Photo Feature: Luc Tuymans Curates Belgian Abstraction At Parasol Unit - ArtLyst Article image

Photo Feature: Luc Tuymans Curates Belgian Abstraction At Parasol Unit

27-10-2015
 
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Parasol Unit foundation for contemporary art is currently presenting a group exhibition of major abstract art from Belgium. The latest show at the foundation has been curated by the renowned Belgian painter, Luc Tuymans; which is the artist's first curated exhibition for a public institution in London. Tuymans has selected some 40 works from two successive generations of Belgian artists.

Image: 'The Gap: Selected Abstract Art from Belgium' curated by Luc Tuymans. Installation view at Parasol unit, 2015. Photo: Jack Hems. Courtesy of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

The artist has focused on the notion of abstraction in the twentieth-century and contemporary Belgian art - including varying sources of influence and inspiration among the curated artists - Tuymans has selected fifteen artists whose work either articulates a relationship to abstraction or takes as its cue the very definition of abstraction itself. The artists themselves share a clear formal relationship between the selected works - even though they have emerged from different periods and motivations. This particular aspect reveals a current and earlier interest in abstraction and a continuing relevance over decades of Belgian art.

Image: 'The Gap: Selected Abstract Art from Belgium' curated by Luc Tuymans. Installation view at Parasol unit, 2015. Photo: Jack Hems. Courtesy of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

Tuymans has specifically selected these artists for the individual nature of their practice and the paradoxical way each of them uses their medium - as the artist himself is a figurative painter who constantly seeks to extend the traditional boundaries of his own practice - Tuymans has sought to recognise a similar trait in the artists he has chosen to exhibit; their works collectively investigate the potential, formal and conceptual tensions within the notion of abstraction.

Image: 'The Gap: Selected Abstract Art from Belgium' curated by Luc Tuymans. Installation view at Parasol unit, 2015. Photo: Jack Hems. Courtesy of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

Works by the earlier generation of artists represented in the show can be loosely situated within geometric abstraction and abstract constructivism, influenced by artists such as Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) and groups such as De Stijl (founded 1917) and the ZERO movement of the 1950s and 60s, as well as the American Colour Field painters. Whereas the more recent works by the younger generation of artists reconstruct and reinterpret the Modernist ideas and concerns from today's artistic point of view. Ultimately, this exhibition highlights the diversity of artistic practice within abstraction, while revealing intergenerational influences and allowing viewers to explore and be challenged by the depth and limits of abstraction.

Image: 'The Gap: Selected Abstract Art from Belgium' curated by Luc Tuymans. Installation view at Parasol unit, 2015. Photo: Jack Hems. Courtesy of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

Working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture and installation, the artists presented in the exhibition are:

Francis Alÿs (1959–), Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen (1961– and 1971–), Gaston Bertrand (1910–1994), Amédée Cortier (1921–1976), Raoul De Keyser (1930–2012), Walter Leblanc (1932–1986), Bernd Lohaus (1940–2010), Guy Mees (1935–2003), Gert Robijns (1972–), Timothy Segers (1983–), Boy & Erik Stappaerts (1969–), Philippe Van Snick (1946–), Jef Verheyen (1932–1984) and Pieter Vermeersch (1973–).

Photos: Jack Hems © Courtesy of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

The Gap: Selected Abstract Art from Belgium curated by Luc Tuymans - Parasol unit - until 6 December 2015


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