Tal R at Boijmans Van Beuningen, NL


Tal R // Academy of Tal R
Exhibition period: 14 October 2017– 14 January 2018

Academy of Tal R offers the first in-depth exploration into the artistic journey of one of the most visually exciting painters of our time. Featuring roughly 150 works, consisting of new pieces made especially for this exhibition and an overview of his work from the past twenty years, this mid-career retrospective is the largest survey of Tal R’s oeuvre to date.

The exhibition highlights that Tal R (b. 1967) from the outset has been a storyteller with a special eye for the overlooked, hidden and repressed spaces of modern life. The exhibition title Academy of Tal R should be understood as a mildly humorous provocation, since his artwork always appears free, wild, vital and unacademic. Tal R’s work is personal, his imaginary world is connected with the reality that surrounds him. Already from an early age drawing was essential: “For me, drawing was the same as dreaming at night: you don’t decide what to dream about, you dream about what you need.” His self-identification as an outsider, caught between two worlds, has fuelled a fertile artistic landscape of shifting realities.

Academy of Tal R will include known but rarely seen masterpieces, such as the gigantic House of Prince (2003–05), consisting of almost 200 smaller paintings; and a large and immersive display of sculptures—over 40 in total—which will be installed by Tal R himself, and in which the viewer becomes a participant as they walk among the pieces.

Known for his flamboyant, colourful paintings and exuberant imagery, Tal R’s oeuvre consists of works in drawing, print, textile, sculpture and furniture, all of which will be exhibited here. His more recent paintings see an evolution in his methodology, both compositionally and in the application of paint. Saturated colour is weighted by shadow; café and street scenes, festooned and radiant, are simultaneously claustrophobic and labyrinthine. His subject matter is intentionally easy to describe, but meaning, as in dreams, is enigmatic.

Tal R has often used the word "kolbojnik," meaning leftovers in Hebrew, to describe his practice of sourcing and collecting a wide range of imagery, figurative and abstract, from high and low culture. Installed collectively, Tal R’s works can eschew adherence to a single aesthetic style in favour of a non-hierarchical exploration of material and form, playing with the porous boundary between art and life.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will recreate the welcoming and energetic nature of the artist’s studio in Copenhagen—at times a place of quiet and reflection, at others home to assistants, family, friends and pets, inviting the public directly into Tal R’s unique world, also with a series of public activities taking place both inside and outside of the galleries.
Click here to view a film about Tal R.

Academy of Tal R is organized in collaboration with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek. Support for the exhibition is provided by the Mondriaan Fund and The Danish Art Foundation.

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