photo: SAIKI Taku

Double Sun

Material/ Techniqueoil on canvas
Size/ DurationH168×W142cm
Copyright Notice© Luc TUYMANS
Year of acquisition/ donation2006
DescriptionBorn in Mortsel, Belgium in 1958. Lives and works in Antwerp.

Luc Tuymans studied painting at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp from 1980-1982, and art history at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels from 1982-1986. Tuymans takes as his subject matter scenes that catch his eye either directly as part of everyday life or indirectly via TV, newspapers, and other media, portraying everything from ordinary everyday scenes to grand themes such as politics, religion, and history in a fragmentary, impersonal manner. As well, he often reconstructs fragments of images in his paintings by incorporating cinematic techniques such as cut ups, close ups, and montage. These fragmented paintings highlight the purest aspects of, and aspects peculiar to, images hidden in everyday life.

"No.7 Needles" is one of the earliest works completed by Tuymans since he took up painting. The subject’s eyes are depicted as dots like the eyes of needles. The figure also lacks a shadow, as a result of which it almost appears to be assimilated with its background. While "No.7 Needles" clearly bears the hallmarks of Tuymans’ early work in the sense that it lacks reality and is tinged with a sense of helplessness, "Double Sun" has a bold, clear-cut composition, its ghostliness and floating sensation further emphasized by the colors and scumbling of the image. As well, the subject matter in the form of the double sun, the symbol of the Jesuits, can also be interpreted as an inquiry into aspects of contemporary society such as the struggle for power characterized by the series of terrorist attacks. Precisely because this work is so peaceful and seemingly devoid of any kind of emotional expression, it evokes in the viewer an indeterminable sense of instability and uneasiness.