Gazette Drouot logo print

Luc Tuymans, Burning Blurriness

Published on , by Virginie Chuimer-Layen

Flemish to the bone, Belgium’s most expensive painter hosted us in his impeccable Antwerp studio haunted by about ten paintings that can now be seen at David Zwirner’s gallery in Paris.

© Luc Tuymans, 2022. Photo Otman Qrita - Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirne... Luc Tuymans, Burning Blurriness

© Luc Tuymans, 2022. Photo Otman Qrita - Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner

A dark-gray, almost black brick façade in a downtown Antwerp alley near the zoo conceals a perfectly cube-shaped former laundry. Evenly spaced shafts in the ceiling let in the Northern light, replaced by straight, discrete neon lights in winter, when it is dark. Filled with finished paintings, the place looks more like a gallery than a studio. Since 2006, Luc Tuymans, 63, a colossus in a dark suit who looks at everything with the same steely azure gaze, has worked here one day a week—usually Thursday or Friday—after months of experimenting in his cavernous office near the port. "Everything is formulated and thoroughly analyzed beforehand. I don't want to think when I'm painting," he says, taking another drag on a cigarette with his nail-bitten fingertips. This second stage, when the hand replaces the head, can sometimes last 14 hours straight. The first three are torture, the rest a pure formality. When the dreaded, planned moment to start painting comes, it flies. With neither music nor an assistant, Tuymans composes alla prima after a source image stored on his iPhone or found on the Internet. He…
This article is for subscribers only
You still have 85% left to read.
To discover more, Subscribe
Gazette Drouot logo
Already a subscriber?
Log in