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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more LE JEUNE, A COLLECTING LEGACY

De Wandeling (The Walk)

De Wandeling (The Walk)
signed and dated 'Luc Tuymans '91' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
14 5/8 x 19in. (37 x 48.2cm.)
Painted in 1991
Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp.
Private Collection, Belgium.
Thence by descent to the present owner.
U. Loock, J. V. Aliaga and N. Spector, Luc Tuymans, London 2000 (illustrated in colour, p. 118; dated '1993').
H. Köhler, 'Ästhetik der Traumata – Inversion des Allegorischen', in Künstler: Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, Munich 2001, no. 9.
J. Friedrich and U. Knöfel, 'Künstler sind Verbrecher', in Der Spiegel, 16 February 2003 (illustrated in colour; dated '1993').
R. Jukubowicz, 'Rükleitung des Leerzuges: On Luc Tuymans’ Paintings', in Kunst Nu, April/May 2003, no. 57.
J. C. Vergne and L. Tuymans (eds.), Tuymans Curtains, Reconstruction, exh. cat., Clermont-Ferrand, FRAC Auvergne, 2003 (illustrated in colour, unpaged; dated '1993').
J. V. Hove, 'Schilder voor fijnproevers: Tate Modern wijdt grote tentoonstelling aan Luc Tuymans', in De Standaard, 24 June 2004.
H. Hamm-Brücher, 'Die totale Niederlage war nötig', in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 25 July 2004.
K. Schweighöfer, 'Maler gegen den Strom', in Art – Das Kunstmagazin, July 2004, no. 30.
R. Venturi, 'En regardant l’oeuvre de Luc Tuymans: Six brèves réflexions', in Ligeia: Dossiers sur l’art, January-June 2006, pp. 115-116.
D. B. White, 'The Man with the Dark Glasses', in Turps Banana, 2007, no. 3 (illustrated, p. 39).
N. Sugawara, Luc Tuymans: Beyond Schwarzheide, Tokyo 2007 (illustrated, p. 38; dated '1993').
T. Godfrey, Painting Today, London 2009, p. 319, no. 362 (illustrated in colour, p. 323; dated '1993').
S. Morley, 'Staring into the Contemporary Abyss', in Tate Etc., issue 20, Autumn 2010 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Luc Tuymans, exh. cat., Columbus, Wexner Center for the Arts, 2010, p. 44 (illustrated in colour, p. 43; fig. 20; dated '1993').
V. Terraroli, T. Stroud and E. Di Lallo, Art of the Twentieth Century, Milan 2010, p. 210 (illustrated in colour, p. 211).
J. Zwagerman, ‘Zwagerman kijkt; Komt een man bij een berg: Luc Tuymans en de banaliteit van het kwaad’, in De Volkskrant, 16 March 2011 (dated '1993').
V. P. Dittmar, 'Ich bin ein schlechter abstrakter Maler', in, 5 May 2011.
P. Keune, 'Kleurrijk in grijs', in kM: S.M.A.K., 2011, p. 22, no. 77 (illustrated, p. 21).
J. Zwagerman, Kennis is Geluk – Nieuwe omzwervingen in de kunst, Utrecht 2012, pp. 113-114.
T. Simoens and D. Wingate (eds.), Luc Tuymans: Exhibitions at David Zwirner, Brussels 2013, pp. 30 and 50 (illustrated in colour, p. 31; dated '1993').
A. Reinders, 'De hele wereld een canvas', in Kunstbeeld, March 2014, no. 39.
T. Kamps and R. Storr, Portraits: Luc Tuymans, Houston 2013, p. 15.
F. Demaegd (ed.), Luc Tuymans: Zeno X Gallery. 25 Years of Collaboration, exh. cat., Antwerp, Zeno X Gallery, 2016 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
E. Meyer-Hermann (ed.), Luc Tuymans – Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings Volume 1: 1972-1994, New York 2017, p. 254, no. LTP 111 (illustrated in colour, p. 255).
J. Delagrange, 'New European Painting', in Contemporary Art Issue, 7 December 2020 (illustrated in colour).
London, Hayward Gallery, The Painting of Modern Life, 2007, pp. 113 and 194 (illustrated in colour, p. 112). This exhibition later travelled to Turin, Castello di Rivoli - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Tessa Lord
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Lot Essay

In Luc Tuymans’ De Wandeling (The Walk) (1991), two men stand with their backs to the viewer, surveying the sweeping panorama before them. Bathed in the dappled yellow glow of the setting sun, their forms are silhouetted with crisp precision, their shadows elongated behind them. In the distance, a vast mountain looms large against a pale sky; in the foreground, bare trees and snow-covered rocks convey the sheer altitude of the figures’ vantage point. Shown at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2007, the work represents a touchstone in Tuymans’ early oeuvre, capturing—in an image of sharp, crystalline economy—his complex dialogue with themes of history and memory. Consciously invoking Caspar David Friedrich’s Romantic masterpiece The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818), as well as the work of the Belgian Symbolist painter Léon Spilliaert, the work is superficially an image of humankind dwarfed by the sublime magnitude of nature. Below the surface, however, another source simmers: a photograph of Adolf Hitler hiking near his retreat in Berchtesgaden, with his chief architect and Minister of Armaments Albert Speer. In this work, Tuymans probes the liminal space between image and reality, asking how the past—artistic, cultural, political—seals itself in our collective imagination.

Born in Belgium in 1958, thirteen years after the end of the Second World War, Tuymans grew up keenly aware of the scars that lingered upon Europe’s landscape. His mother’s family had supported the Dutch Resistance, and emotionally-charged conversations about the conflict echoed around the family dinner table. Chiming with the work of artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz and Adrian Ghenie, much of Tuymans’ oeuvre addresses how it feels to be painfully aware of a history before our time, asking how images of which we have no personal memory can nonetheless become deeply embedded in one’s consciousness. Themes relating to the tragedies of the Third Reich resound throughout his practice: Speer himself appears on more than one occasion, notably in the 1990 work Secrets. Tuymans made several paintings and studies based on photographs of Hitler and his entourage on their regular walk from the Eagle’s nest to the teahouse in the valley in Berchtesgaden, taken from a propaganda film still published in Speer’s 1970 memoir Inside the Third Reich: the mountain in the background is the Watzmann, the third highest peak in Germany. He recalls being struck by the ‘boredom’ of the image: the seemingly ‘everyday’ normality of a hike in nature which glazes the dark reality beneath. As the critic and novelist Lynne Tillman has written, ‘the image stays in mind, you remember it, and later can believe that it’s your memory’ (L. Tillman in conversation with H. Molesworth and M. Grynsztejn, in T. Simoens and D. Wingate (eds.), Luc Tuymans: Exhibitions at David Zwirner, Antwerp 2013, p. 50).

The notion of an image’s ‘afterlife’ is also reflected in Tuymans’ approach to Friedrich: an artist whose grand Romantic vistas were co-opted by Nazi ideology. His dalliance with art history in this context heightens the work’s sense of déjà-vu, forcing us to consider which of the painting’s cultural memories is sparked first. ‘I once saw a Japanese woodcut in which yellow and black produced the effect of illumination’, recalls Tuymans. ‘I then wondered what you would get if you analysed a Friedrich down to a single colour. The idea of keeping something, separating something out, until all you had was the essential mood.’ Much like his contemporary Peter Doig—an artist who also came to prominence during this period—Tuymans likened this effect to the disorientating visual properties of snow. He was particularly fascinated by ‘the idea of snow-blindness, when you only see something in patches’, as well as the ‘after-image you get if you look into the sun, and when very few colours remain, one of which dominates’ (L. Tuymans, quoted in U. Loock, J. V. Aliaga and N. Spector (eds.), Luc Tuymans, London 2000, p. 118). In De Wandeling, figuration hovers on the border of abstraction as the worlds of reality and illusion are held perilously in balance.

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