Image courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Tal R, Model Alone in Studio, 2006, Acquired with funding from Løvbjergs Almene Fond and Løvbjerg Fonden
Academy of Tal R
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
From 20 May to 10 September 2017
For Louisiana it is an obvious choice to mount an exhibition presenting an overview of the Danish artist Tal R’s work over the past two decades: on the one hand because the museum has followed him since he was a student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in the late 1990s, on the other because over the years the museum has acquired a number of very important works by the artist for its collection.
Image courtesy of Collection of Victoria and Warren Miro, London, Tal R, Lords of Kolbojnik, 2002
It has been twenty years since Tal R made his debut in the museum world with his participation in The Louisiana Exhibition 1997. Most people know Tal R as a painter, but at that time he presented an energetic mix of painting, drawing and collages. The exhibition establishes that his painting is still a result of interactive experiences with a wealth of other materials and types of work. Tal R is not an academic artist. On the contrary it can be said that, more than anyone, he has created his own academy, in which insights and skills free of hierarchies are translated into new experiments.
Image courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Tal R, The Bend, 2016, Donation: The New Carlsberg Foundation
The exhibition also wishes to point to the aspect of the artist’s universe making it clear that as a storyteller he has from the outset had a keen eye for the spaces of dreams and imaginings, and for the people who populate them. Whatever defies uniformity catches his eye and his interest and is a resource for his thinking. This is where we meet ‘the others’. Often social and psychological markers have been trimmed down to a minimum. They are there, turning a little inward on themselves, and as viewers we must consult ourselves and our thoughts in that respect. Tal R opens doors, but we must ourselves enter them.
Image courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Tal R, Heavy Hair, 2002, Acquired with funding from I.F. Lemvigh Müllers Fond and the Estate of Niels Finn Aagaard Bendtsen
In the course of the past year the artist has produced two distinctive work suites for the exhibition: Habakuk and Deaf Institute. Habakuk consists of eight very large paintings with a train carriage as subject, on which the word ‘Habakuk’ and a colon are written. Habakuk is a pet name Tal R and his siblings gave their father during their childhood. Deaf Institute, a highly personal and poetic work, consists of 99 large drawn and painted collages in upright format, hung in a giant labyrinth in the Hall Gallery. The collages show all sorts of signs, words, and sometimes whole sentences, mixed with recognizable fragments from earlier works. Both work groups are being shown for the first time.