Friday, September 14, 2007

Tal R: the sum

Tal R, who has just turned 40 years, has reached a point in his career where he is to some extent taking stock with this project at Louisiana. The 17 paintings of the exhibition, five of which are brand new and created specifically for this show, complete his long-standing project that has been unfolding since 2004.

As a kind of selfimposed rule, or professional handicap if you like, Tal R has chosen seven colours as a basis for the works – brown, red, black, white, pink, yellow and green – in order to focus deliberately on the fundamental principles of painting. All the works measure 2.5 x 2.5 m.

But Tal R is by no means a ‘system-painter’. With his romantic, sometimes exceedingly laid-back painting style, he is too fond of narrative and storytelling for that. Using a splashing brush and slapdash layering he paints gleefully in impossible materials, with undisguised clashes and references in the content both to broader cultural and historical currents and to the private sphere.

The aim is to say something with painting, not about painting. This balance between narrative and quite fundamental exercises in the basic scales of painting provides the cornerstones of the museum’s exhibition.

Besides the 17 paintings shown in museum’s South Wing, the exhibition presents a major graphics project and seven showcases in each of the above-mentioned seven colours which enter into a dialogue with the artist’s work.