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still life

October 5, 2009

Still Life is a monument to the inadequacy of language. Made initially for the 2002 Documenta, Tuymans was expected to present paintings of images relating to 9/11 to coincide with the exhibition’s theme of political and social engagement. What he decided to show was a giant still life. The sheer scale makes the contemplation of this painting almost impossible: a vast canvas representing an absolute nothingness. Tuymans chose the subject of still life precisely because it was utterly unremarkable; a generic ‘brand’ of ‘object’ rendered to immense scale, it is banality expanded to the extreme. The simplicity of Tuymans’ composition alludes to a pure and uninterrupted world order; the ephemeral light, with which the canvas seems to glow, places it as an epic masterpiece of metaphysical and spiritual contemplation. In response to unimaginable horror, Tuymans offers the sublime. A gaping magnitude of impotency, which neither words nor paintings could ever express.  (more at Saatchi Gallery)

Wexner Center for the Arts
Sept 17, 2009 – Sun, Jan 3, 2010

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2009 5:28 am

    i love this, the more i look, the more i feel drawn into that ethereal blue, that transparency of matter.

  2. October 7, 2009 7:43 am

    imagine then if you saw it in real life, for the canvas is immense (347 X 500cm).

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