Tal R - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Over the past decade Louisiana Museum of Modern Art has established a distinctive collection of works – especially paintings – by the Danish artist Tal R (b. 1967). The museum therefore thinks it is natural with him to round off the Louisiana trilogy of exhibitions of contemporary artists with painting as their focus: Peter Doig in 2015, Daniel Richter in 2016 and now Tal R in 2017. At the same time it is twenty years since Tal R made his debut in the museum world with his participation in The Louisiana Exhibition 1997. New art from Denmark and Scania.

Academy of Tal R is a wide-ranging exhibition which for the first time offers an overview of the past 20 years’ active career. Since the 1990s Tal R, as one of the most striking artists of his generation, has exhibited around the world, especially in Europe, and his art is included in many central collections. He is an artist who with apparent ease and considerable visual impact expresses himself freely across painting, drawing, collage, artist books and sculpture.

The works in the exhibition offers Louisiana’s guide to making sense of the essentials in Tal R’s production: 55 paintings from the period from 1996 until now; collage pictures from 1997 to 2008; around 30 artist’s books from 1996 until now; 32 sculptures from 2005 on; 25 drawings from 1997 until 2015; and a number of new works that have not been exhibited earlier.

Tal R’s art may be tied to the material and content, but as a storyteller too he has had a keen eye from the outset for the neglected, hidden and marginalized spaces and for human beings in modern life. All that runs contrary to uniformity holds his interest as resources for his thinking and imagination. According to Tal R there is no straightforward path through life in terms of artistic awareness and personal expression. “The Academy of Life” leaves its traces, and we find them at the exhibition in the drawings from the 1990s from “The Back Garden” and onward to the empty shop fronts in the brand new works.

With his role as a rather lone wolf in terms of academic learning and at the same time his opposition to the decidedly political course in the 1990s, Tal R felt compelled to define painting in his own vital and up-to-the-minute way. One
could say that his artworks function as a kind of portals for experience and emotions that can only be given meaning and fullness by the individual.

The exhibition will continue to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art