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Mel Chin: Rematch | Mar 2015

Cities cling in perpetuity to a hometown boy made good. Mel Chin left Houston in 1983, and was clearly influenced by the time he spent in our diverse, surreal and polluted swampland. Mel Chin: Rematch, is an epic set of exhibitions that originated at the New Orleans Museum of Art; the show’s Houston iteration adds additional work and feted Chin with multiple openings, lectures and discussions.

Like a lot of other Houstonians, Chin is the child of immigrants. He grew up in the largely African American 5th Ward, where his parents ran a grocery store. His family later moved to the suburb of Meyerland but continued to operate the store, where Chin also worked. He came of age in the politically active 1960s and 1970s.

chin funk

Like his hometown, Chin’s art isn’t easily labeled or defined. His fascinating works range from the 524 delicate collages of The Funk & Wag from A to Z, 2012, cut from a vintage set of encyclopedias (on view at the Blaffer), to large-scale sculptures like Our Strange Flower of Democracy, 2005, a bamboo “bomb” suspended from the ceiling of the Asia Society. It moves from video installations like the 1991 Degrees of Paradise with a ceiling of early video monitors and Kurdish-woven carpets (on view at The Station Museum), to early examples of social practice art in the Revival Field documentation at Blaffer, and to performance artifacts like Lecture Ax (at the CAMH) which contains the artist’s notes for a talk at the New School for Social Research. Organizing a Mel Chin retrospective has to be a daunting task. Curator Miranda Lash perceptively used a viral analogy to describe how Chin’s work evolves as it spreads from idea to idea.

In 1970, Chin organized an ecology club at Bellaire High School. One of its projects was to clear trash out of a small, stagnant section of reeking bayou. (Just imagining it will easily stimulate the gag reflex in Houstonians.) The impulse toward environmental repair reappears in Chin’s Revival Field, documentation of which is on view at the Blaffer Art Museum. For the project, Chin worked with Rufus Chaney, a senior USDA research agronomist. Based on Chaney’s research into phytoremediation, a field of plants known to be accumulators of heavy metals was planted at the Pig’s Eye Landfill, a superfund site in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

chin redemption

Traditional remediation involves soil being hauled off to a hazardous waste landfill but Chaney believed that plants could be more effective at removing toxins. The various plants were laid out in a pattern designed by Chin that referenced the concentric rings of a target, as well as a circle and square derived from an ancient Chinese conception of a circular sky and a square earth. The artist overlaid the research with additional symbolism, adding plot markers based on the Mayan numerical system, fabricated from redwood, aluminum and stainless steel. Then jars were suspended from the plot markers containing a bar of zinc, lump of lead or ball of copper. (In description, all that symbolism seems a little overwrought, but I never made it out to Pig’s Eye to see for myself.) Chaney continued his research using the plants in the project, which also brought attention to the scientist’s work outside the scientific community.

chin vault

One of Chin’s most iconic works, Operation Paydirt, 2006, is also on view at the Blaffer. It began in post-Katrina New Orleans. High lead levels in children have been linked to violent crime, learning disabilities and lowered IQ. With an estimated 86,000 residential properties in the city contaminated by lead, Chin sought to make people aware of the environmental cause underlying social issues. At the Blaffer, the giant safe door originally mounted on the exterior of a New Orleans shotgun house leads from one gallery into another. Inside the gallery is a massive pallet of hand-drawn “Fundred dollar bills” largely made by children from all over the country. The total count is around half a million. Visitors can add their own contributions on site. Each bill is a symbolic request for lead remediation funding, as well as a mechanism for educating people about the dangers of lead poisoning.

Scholar's Nightmare

Scholar’s Nightmare

The artworks on view at the Asia Society are relegated to the lobby but include some striking sculptural objects. In 1980, Chin began a stint working as a preparator for Dominique de Menil at the Rice Museum, a precursor to the Menil Collection. While there, he came in direct contact with work from de Menil’s phenomenal collection of surrealist art, an opportunity few art students every have. Surreal moments occur throughout his work. On view at the Asia Society, Chin’s Scholar’s Nightmare, is an elegantly strange object. At first glance, it is a Ming dynasty style table with gracefully curved legs. Then you notice one of the legs ends in a taxidermied horse’s hoof. The perfection of the table is subtly disrupted with something wild and unsettling.

chin homeYsew9

The Contemporary Arts Museum includes a number of pieces Chin created addressing gun violence. In 1981 Houston was the murder capital of the country with 701 homicides. In the exhibition catalogue, Chin states, “My uncle Dick’s murder [WWII veteran Dick Yee Chin] prompted me to relocate of New York City the following year.” Yee was shot at a Houston gas station by a recently released mental patient. In his 1994 work, HOME y Sew 9, Chin repurposed a 9mm GLOCK-17 handgun into a surgical first aid kit for a gunshot victim containing “microelectronic distress beacon on FM band, ACE bandage, saline, narcotic, angiocatheter, epinephrine.” The aid is ironically camouflaged in a weapon favored by everyone from law enforcement to gang members to UN peacekeepers.

mel-chin 911Politics have long been a part of Chin’s work. In what could retrospectively considered an early Houston performance, Chin washed his draft card into pieces. It seems a slower and more meditative choice than the customary burning. While working with Dominique de Menil in the early 80s, Chin also saw the documentary Inside the CIA: On Company Business, the film investigated the CIA’s backing of the Chilean coup d’état. The film would influence the artist’s own 2007 film, 9-11/9-11, also on view at the CAMH. The hand-drawn animated film links two tragedies. The characters of its narrative connect the September 11, 1973 US-backed Chilean coup that overthrew the democratically elected president Salvador Allende and ushered in dictator Augusto Pinochet with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Chin skillfully weaves a story of relationships and politics.

In the film, the artist character takes her boyfriend to see work by Mark Lombardi, the late Houston artist whose intensely investigated drawings diagramed the players of multiple scandals. The Bush family and various Houston enterprises made frequent appearances in Lombardi’s work. Lombardi, whose drawing linking the Bush and Bin Laden family became of interest to the FBI after 9/11, would have appreciated the political connections in Chin’s narrative.

The film was supported by Jim and Ann Harithas of the Station Museum with Ann Harithas as producer. The CAMH presents the final version of the film, in which the drawing is cleaner and color is added. The Station is presenting their favorite version, an early rough cut. There is something beautifully haunting in the restrained sketchiness of the drawings in the earlier version. It’s reminiscent of William Kentridge’s poignant hand-drawn animations but more spare.

Hitting four separate venues to see all 60 works of Rematch is something of a commitment, but it is one worth making. With such varied artistic production, seeing one Chin work is in no way seeing them all. Chin’s fearless approach to any media that serves his purpose is inspirational.

Source: Mel Chin: Rematch – Glasstire

More on Carrie Schneider’s “Care House” | May 2012

Detail of Carrie Schneider’s “Care House”

I cried all the way home from Care House, Carrie Schneider’s installation and memorial in her childhood home. The house was where Schneider’s mother lived until she died from pancreatic cancer in September of 2010 at age 57. Just a few remnants are left of the home as it was and into these Schneider has inserted video, photographs and other interventions.

I’m not a remotely spiritual person but I’ve always kind of seen houses as living entities. I used to remodel and resell them. Going in and fixing them, I saw the histories of the past residents through the stuff they left behind and the things they did to the houses. Anyone who has lived someplace where other people lived before does something similar, creating a mental portrait of the people who were there before you. The carpet stains, the stuff they forgot in the cabinet over the refrigerator, and the kids’ height marks on the wall are all artifacts of the former residents.

Detail of Carrie Schneider’s “Care House”

In Schneider’s house, you enter knowing just enough of the story to make Care House poignant to the point of pain. The first gut punch comes right as you walk in. An old TV plays a looped video of a Christmas when Schneider and her brother were kids. It’s like a ghost in the room. You see them and their family laughing and opening presents back when this house was their home. They are blissfully unaware of the loss they will suffer in just a few years – Schneider is only 25.

There are little decorator items here and there, the kind of stuff your mom buys that you never would. Stuff that has been around so long it’s just part of the landscape, you never really look at it – until you have to pack it up and clear out the house. There’s one of those carved candles popular the decades ago, it’s flanked by two little glass angels. A scented Yankee Candle in “Ocean Breeze” is lit on top of the TV. The clock over the fireplace mantle is stopped. Below it, instead of family photos, one of those little digital picture frames shows images Schneider made documenting the marks and stains of the house.

 

Installation detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House”

In the kitchen Schneider has peeled back the wallpaper and inserted copies of family photos; it’s like the house offering you a peek into its past. When Schneider hosted an opening brunch for the house, the abandoned kitchen came alive and she cooked things her mother taught her how to make. Little sausage pigs in blankets, chicken and rice casserole and fruit salad.

Schneider’s uncle threw out most of her mother’s stuff before she could get into the house. The loss of her mother’s dresses, the ones she loved as a kid and wanted to wear when she grew up, was particularly painful. She took paper ephemera from her mom, old letters and cards, and pulped it to create a paper dress. I think the process might have been therapeutic but this is probably the least effective part of the installation. Handmade paper just overpowers everything no matter what you do with it. Maybe casting it into a brick or some simple form would have worked better, or perhaps creating something with the intact ephemera.

Detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House,” photo by David Brown of dabfoto creative

The half bath is a shrine to Schneider’s mother’s battle against cancer. The counter is packed with astronomically expensive, side-effect-filled medications as well as notes, instructions and doctor’s cards – the grim reminders of an ultimately futile attempt to stave off death.

Installation detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House”

Installation detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House”

Inside the master bedroom is a video projected against the wall from inside a dresser drawer. It shows Schneider lying on a bed and simultaneously sitting beside it, trying to comfort herself. In the master bath a video is projected over the tub, is shows the back of Schneider washing her hair in the same tub. It’s almost primal, this impulse to bathe where her mother bathed, to somehow connect with the woman who is gone. It’s the same reason people hang on to a loved one’s old jacket for the lingering scent of the person. How can they be dead when you can still smell them?

Detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House,” photo by David Brown of dabfoto creative

Installation detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House.”

The video that really got me was reflected in a framed mirror hung in Schneider’s mother’s closet. Schneider had projected life-sized images of her mother and stood in them seemingly trying to pose in her mother’s dresses. But the dresses are secondary for the viewer. We see Schneider blending into her mother in a photo in which her mother holds Schneider as a baby with her arm around her older brother. The video gives us an image of a grieving daughter trying to mother and comfort herself. Losing a parent is horrible and as a parent, the idea of leaving your children alone the world is equally awful.

Installation detail from Carrie Schneider’s “Care House”

Schneider didn’t place anything upstairs but it is still highly evocative – the budding artist paint stains on the rug, the leaves and paper stars hung from the ceiling, the staples left behind from band posters… Peering out the upstairs bedroom window at the tree Schneider looked out at as a kid, I felt overwhelming sadness. The tree grew, the kids grew, their mother got sick and died, leaving them and the house behind. Looking out that window, time feels very, very cruel.

 

 

 

(Carrie Schneider is also a freelance GT contributor with a review up of “It’s a Phase” at Russ Pittman Park, and GT blogger Ayanna Jolivet McCloud – more timely than I am – blogged about Care House here.  Sorry to over-cover a contributor but Care House is a fantastic installation – and one you can still try to see. I talked to the artist and there are apparently a very few openings left to see it before the house is put on the market. Contact her at Carrie@HearOurHouston.com and see what’s possible. If you don’t/can’t get a chance to see it, be sure to check out Robert Boyd‘s video below. It was shot when the house was a little crowded but it still gives you a good sense of things.)

 

Source: More on Carrie Schneider’s “Care House” – Glasstire

Gabriel Kuri at the Blaffer Art Museum | Sep 2010

Gabriel Kuri…Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab,…installation view, photo copyright Tom DuBrock

Receipts, parking stubs, old newspapers, plastic bags, crumpled cans, worn down slivers of soap and hotel-size shampoo are the stuff of Gabriel Kuri’s art. Kuri has a particular fascination with cast-offs and the ephemera generated by the commerce of daily life.  Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab at the Blaffer Art Museum is a ten-year survey of Kuri’s work organized by Director and Chief Curator Claudia Schmuckli, and presented in conjunction with the celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial.

When you enter the Blaffer, the first thing you see is a series of fans attached to the lobby ceiling, each blowing to inflate a cluster of plastic shopping bags. They tell us “Thank You!” or “Gracias.” These bags are the urban equivalent of tumbleweeds (as filmed, famously, in the film American Beauty). Once they break free from the purchaser, they blow through parking lots and over highways, only stopping when the become lodged in the branches of a tree or stuck in a fence. In Kuri’s hands, they are lovely ethereal things rather than litter. The 2004 work is titled Thank You Clouds.

Another bag turns up in the show, this time hung on the gallery wall: Untitled (Gracias Thank you), 2003. The words “Gracias” and “Thank you” are printed in blue under a smiley face on a translucent, institutional green plastic bag. A brochure for an enema product called “Microlax” is inserted inside the bag. It’s not a coincidence that the giant rock on the cover of the brochure, apparently signifying impacted crap, is visible underneath the Smiley. The wan smile on the face makes me think these two things were originally distributed together. Did I mention that Kuri has a sense of humor?

More consumer ephemera appear in Column 2007-2008. A year’s worth of the artist’s receipts, arranged by date, are stuck on a metal spindle that seemingly extends to the heavens. A parallel metal rod is strung with paper numbers, the kind used to determine when you will be served, most often used in hellholes like the Department of Public Safety. These too are arranged in order. The spindle rods are set into a bowl-shaped chunk of concrete at the floor and ceiling as if they are a continuum between two worlds.

All those little receipts are a record of Kuri’s wants and needs, a view into his life through the lens of consumerism. Each number represents a chunk of time the artist spent standing, waiting to buy or to ask something. The two-story piece conveys a sense of tedium and the passage of time. How many trips to the grocery store will you make in your lifetime? How will the purchases on your receipts change? Beer, cigarettes and Ramen noodles in your twenties? Diapers and rice cereal for the baby? Frozen pizzas for your teenagers? What are the empty nesters and retirees buying? What food would you no longer buy if you lost your partner? Our receipts are like diaries.

Gabriel Kuri, Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab, installation view, photo copyright Tom DuBrock

Kuri makes other receipts monumental by having them exactingly recreated as tapestries by weavers in Guadalajara. His receipts from a Superama Wal-Mart in Mexico detail purchases that include pumpkin seeds and Cheetos. The receipts are dated ’03, ’05, and ‘09 but contain mostly the same items. Kuri tried to recreate his ’03 purchases on each receipt. According to the receipts, the price of Cheetos is on the rise. It’s a wonderfully absurd project, trying to exactly reproduce a buying experience at an anonymous discount chain in purchases six years apart and then memorializing the action with such a beautiful, labor-intensive, handcrafted object.

Another grocery store-fueled work, Model for a Victory Parade, 2008 is one of my favorite pieces. It’s a checkout conveyor belt with an empty bent can of energy drink stuck at the edge of the belt, eternally rotating. As it does, it makes a hollow, clanking sound that seems far way. I was tempted to pull the plug and see if the sound really did stop. Kuri has generated a whole lot of pathos from an empty can.

Other works that use scraps of granite slab feel a little off, even though they are apparently cast-offs from a stone fabricator, they read as if Kuri has ventured into minimalist sculpture.  He undercuts this somewhat by arranging a row of partially used hotel toiletries in a row along their edges or sandwiching a parking receipt between two slabs as tightly as he probably had to park his car between two other vehicles. The problem is that the average viewer recognizes receipts and old cans as cast-off, but unless they happen to know the story behind the stone slabs and their rounded edges, the pieces don’t make a lot of sense.

It’s a great show overall, but there are works which seem too hermetic and are frustrating. An example of this is Overlapping Statistics (Blind Olives Eyelid), 2007, a sculpture whose list of materials includes “Painted plywood, weatherproof roofing roll, painted glass, tissue box, painted jar, insulation roll.” These items are stacked in layers, a jar of olives propping up one side. Maybe there is some obvious idea or charming story behind it that I’m missing. But really, the piece isn’t visually intriguing enough for me to want to make that effort. When Kuri makes work this visually uninteresting and obscure, it feels spoiled and self-indulgent to me. I’m not advocating for the pat and obvious, but you should give the viewer something.

Gabriel Kuri, Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab, installation view, photo copyright Tom DuBrock

For A Satisfied Customer, 2008, Kuri draped two tables with royal blue felt, as if he is displaying something precious. Carefully arranged across its surface are thin slivers of soap, used almost to nothingness. These things may signify any number of things for Kuri personally, but the felt and the soap carry with them enough connotations and associations that the viewer himself has something to work with.

Kuri’s art is poetic and subtly engaging. Making this kind of work requires a delicate balance that is tough to pull off consistently. However, Kuri does just that – it is the rare work that is so subtle that it slips completely from the viewer’s grasp.

 

Source: Gabriel Kuri at the Blaffer Art Museum – Glasstire

“Luc Tuymans” at the DMA | Jul 2010

Luc Tuymans, The Heritage VI, 1996…oil on canvas; 20 3/4 x 17 1/8 in. (53 x 43.5 cm)…Courtesy David Zwirner, New York…© Luc Tuymans; photo: courtesy David Zwirner, NY

In Luc Tuymans’ 1997 painting Der Architekt, a man wearing skis has fallen in the snow. Almost monochromatic, the image is rendered in frosty blues that lean to black. The figure’s skis and poles are strong linear elements, as is the sloping snow line of the horizon. It’s a simply executed but powerful image. His head turned to the camera, the man’s face is seemingly whited-out by the glare of the snow. There is something remote and slightly unsettling about the painting. It becomes, however, incredibly unsettling when you learn that the image is from a home movie of Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and concentration camp designer. A man who participated in unimaginable horror, captured falling on his ass on a jolly skiing holiday.

Like many Europeans of his generation, the Belgian painter Luc Tuymans grew up in an environment where politics mattered deeply and reflected cultural divides. His mother was Dutch; her family fought in the resistance and hid Jews. His father was Flemish; his family had strong German cultural ties and sided with the Reich during the war. World War II played out again and again at family mealtimes when Tuymans was growing up. At the Dallas Museum of Art press preview for his first U.S. retrospective, the artist quipped, “I learned to eat quickly and not enjoy my food.”

Despite his politically charged upbringing, Tuymans, a painter of formidable skill, didn’t grow up to be a polemicist—at least not in his art. Well-versed in history, he holds strong opinions, but his art does not promote an agenda, unlike much political work. His imagery is informed by an extreme political consciousness and humanism, but he paints in a way that is ambiguous, allowing for a variety of interpretations.

Luc Tuymans, Lumumba, 2000, oil on canvas…24 3/8 x 18 1/8 x 7/8 in. (61.9 x 46 x 2.2 cm)…Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York…© Luc Tuymans; photo: courtesy David Zwirner, NY

It is this ambiguity, the everyday and banal aspects of evil (Third Reich and otherwise) that fuels a much of Tuymans’ work. In The Heritage VI (1996) a brushy, grisaille portrait of Klansman Joseph Milteer, a guy some believe helped plan the Kennedy assassination, looks like a smiling Rotarian. Meanwhile, Tuymans’ striking series on the Belgian Congo, Mwana Kitoko: Beautiful White Man, includes a full-length painting of the young Belgian king, Baudouin I, great grand nephew of King Leopold II (whose brutal, hand-chopping rule of the Congo led to an estimated 10 million deaths). The image of Baudouin was culled from a 1955 propaganda film in which the twenty-something ruler steps off a jet into his Congolese colony, resplendent in a pristine white uniform complete with gloves and a walking stick. In Tuymans’ hands, he’s a slender and insubstantial figure faded by the sunlight, his eyes obscured by the same sort of dark glasses the artist painted on an image of SS Deputy Chief Reinhard Heydrich.

The series also includes Sculpture, (2000) a strange rendering of a glassy-eyed, loincloth-wearing “native” mannequin figure, the hokey racist kind from natural history museums of yore. There is a gorgeous painting of a leopard skin laid out like a rug, with feet of the man who just walked over it cropped off above. (The Congo’s Belgian rulers seized on the leopard skin as a symbol of their African rule.) The least ambiguous image is an atypically warm (for Tuymans) portrait. It’s of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected leader of the post-colonial Congo. Lumumba spoke out against Belgian atrocities in front of Baudouin, who had praised the “genius” of Leopold II. Lumumba was assassinated in 1961, and the Belgian government and the CIA were implicated. Tuymans selected these images and put them out there for viewers to draw their own conclusions. And they did: when the artist showed the series in his country’s pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennale, public response (spurred on by a popular book and movie on the subject) helped bring about a public apology from the Belgian government.

Tuymans’ work is successful because he’s a deft and compelling painter, but once you know the stories behind the work, they obviously shape the way you view the paintings. Like Gerhard Richter (Tuymans’ elder) and Marlene Dumas (Tuymans’ contemporary), the artist most often works from found images. Finding the right one is key to his work and he exhaustively researches his subjects. The five years Tuymans spent as a filmmaker gave him an objective, cinematic approach to images. Once he has honed in on one, Tuymans executes almost all of his paintings in a day.

Luc Tuymans, W, 2008; oil on canvas…74 x 47 in. (188 x 119.4 cm)…David Zwirner, New York; © Luc Tuymans…photo: courtesy David Zwirner, NY

Because he works quickly, wet on wet in oil, you can see the hand of the artist in the pigment and almost feel the paint sliding around on the canvas. And the color palette of that paint is very European; Tuymans doesn’t deal in the bright, clean, pop colors of America. In series exploring things like disease and the Holocaust, the dominating hues are those one associates with European institutional spaces. One such example is Our New Quarters (1986), based on a postcard the Nazis produced of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In it, a camp building is rendered in simple black strokes against a grim grey-green background. But even when Tuymans makes a (surprisingly engaging) painting of gift wrap, the paper is a beige, the supposedly gay stripes a dull red. (That the wrapping paper was of East German make explains much.)

The use of aged colors do something to impart the burden of history that seems to weigh on Tuymans. When WWII ended, a lot of people who did horrific things just went about their lives, unpunished. People made rich by confiscated Jewish property lived on as bourgeoisie. Doctors who experimented on prisoners continued their practice and research. And people who were persecuted and survived never received justice. Tuymans painted Die Wiedergutmachung (Reparations) (1989) after watching a documentary about the persecution of ethnic groups like the Roma and Sinti—the people that, according the exhibition catalog, the Nazis described as a “Gypsy plague”

In this painting, a grid of black lines contains irregular circles of faded blues, greens and browns, with black dots in their centers. It’s a small, self-contained, seemingly abstract work, but like Tuymans’ striped (gift wrap) painting, you know it references something, you just aren’t quite sure what. The painting is based on Nazi photographs of eyeballs. The notorious doctor Josef Mengele and his ilk experimented on the eyes of gypsy children, injecting dye and attempting to change their colors and killing children with heterochromatic eye color to excise their eyes. They recorded their work in color photographs. For years Gypsy survivors were deemed ineligible for financial reparations because it was said they were imprisoned because of “asocial” behavior rather than race. Tuymans’ painting is a mute visual testament to the atrocity.

Luc Tuymans, Ballroom Dancing, 2005, oil on canvas…62 1/4 x 40 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. (158 x 103.5 x 4 cm)…Collection of SFMOMA, promised gift of…Shawn and Brook Byers; © Luc Tuymans

The artist turns his focus to the new world in the 2008 painting W. It isn’t an image of whom you might think. The painting depicts a washed out, hazy map projected on the wall, its markings creating an abstract pattern. A sliver of a man in a grey suit is shown, his shadow crossing the map. It could be a film still of a James Bond villain plotting world domination but painting was actually done from a photograph of Walt Disney. He was presenting his grand, plan for a showcase Disney community where the residents would have no property or voting rights and would live under a kind of “benevolent” corporate dictatorship. The project was never realized.

And speaking of W, Tuymans’ 2005 painting Ballroom Dancing, depicts a tuxedoed man and a woman in a flamboyant yellow-skirted dress waltzing across the seals of the United States and the State of Texas. It’s an omniscient overhead view of a formal, stilted ritual that simultaneously implies a trivial superficiality. Instead of fiddling while Rome burns, they’re dancing while the world blows up.

But we all bring our own political baggage to Tuymans’ work. A Republican art collector could buy that same painting and conceivably pass it off as a Bush inauguration tribute. Tuymans grew up in Antwerp, a city that has seen a disturbing rise of nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiment. He knows the danger of fascist tactics and he doesn’t use them in his art. He’s not going to create paintings that tell you what to think.

 

Source: “Luc Tuymans” at the DMA – Glasstire