Today, for Art Agenda, I look at Luc Tuyman’s show over at David Zwirner. An excerpt:
Luc Tuymans’s paintings set a somber mood at David Zwirner: a ship at sail with its stern to a cloudy horizon; a conspiratorial faceless portrait; a panel discussion dissolving as its participants are cast in blinding light. The 11 works in his latest show titled “Corporate” darkly depict corporations as the new feudal lords. This means a series of portraits, interiors, and landscapes in shades of gray line Zwirner’s walls, along with a girl on horseback and some knightly armor.
That Tuymans’s work takes “the banality of evil” as its subject matter—an often re-iterated point made again by curator Helen Molesworth in the artist’s retrospective catalogue at SFMOMA this spring—is only a half-truth here. His 17th century ship painting may evoke the same stillness of a Vija Celmins ocean painting, but it still fails to be quite so unsettling. There’s simply nothing remarkable about the composition, nor the artist’s loose brushwork, a point underscoring the larger problem within the show. The line between quiet and inert is much too thin.
To read the full review, head on over to Art Agenda.