A portrait of Luc Tuymans framed by a black artwork in a museum while looking directly at the camera.
All stories

In Conversation: Luc Tuymans

1 November 2015

The auditorium at Museum of Islamic Art was filled with a mixture of VIPs, art-lovers, students and the general public in October 2015 for a conversation between Luc Tuymans and former Ambassador to the USA, Badr Al Dafaa.

Share with a friend

“My work is about layering”, Tuymans said, “seeing what is there and what is not there”. While his work resonates with a lot of political and historical imagery, he tends to leave it to the viewer to describe what they see and how the image makes them feel.

The Belgium-born visual artist also enhances this internalisation by creating a dissonance between the title of a painting and the painting itself. His work Wonderland, inspired by the failed grand-opening of Disneyland, is an example. Of this piece, he said: "It’s about an illusion, utopian ideal, a perfect world which of course isn’t real."

Luc Tuymans sitting on a couch while holding up a microphone to be interviewed

Luc Tuymans in conversation at MIA, 2015

My work is about silence.

Luc Tuymans

When asked why his 2015 solo exhibition at Al Riwaq was called Intolerance, Tuymans responded: “It’s all a bigger concept, a bigger world”, referring both to the exhibition and to the exhibition space. "If you see my work, it’s not in chronological order… it’s in pockets of meaning. The contents of each room hold meaning on their own but also work into the theme of intolerance.”

Tuymans’ work is about seeing through all the layers and uncovering the concept beneath.

Auditorium in the Museum of Islamic Art filled with audiences while they listen to a conversation with Luc Tuymans

MIA auditorium: In conversation with Luc Tuymans