Member’s Gift 2017
Luc Tuymans


Luc Tuymans: Apple (Vereinsgabe), 2017
digital print on cardboard, 25 x 26,5 cm
unframed, handsigned on the back
© Photo: Simon Vogel

It is a great pleasure and honor to inform you that painter and draughtsman Luc Tuymans has agreed to create the member’s gift for 2017. Born in the Belgian city of Mortsel in 1958, Tuymans ranks among our most important contemporary artists. He has participated in Documenta in Kassel twice (1992 and 2002) and represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale (2001). In addition, his work has been honored with extensive retrospectives in both Europe and America over the last 15 years.

The focus of the international art scene turned to Tuymans’ work in the early 1990s, as the genre of painting had seemed to have little relevance anymore. At that time, he presented mostly small-format paintings, which were characterized by a reduced color palette that seemed to wash or fade out his subject matter. The reduction, unobtrusiveness, and stillness of his works were often in contrast to the graphic vehemence of the content of the themes he presented: historical and social events, processes, and phenomena such as the Holocaust or, later, colonial politics in the Belgian Congo and September 11, 2001.

Tuymans does not limit his themes to humanity’s moments of horror, however; in his oeuvre, depictions of trivial moments of everyday life also confront the elementary conditions of existence. Regardless of the subject matter, the Belgian artist’s works bear witness to his efforts to approach the problem of what constitutes individual or collective memory and what role images occupy in this context.

The work that Tuymans created exclusively for the members of the Kölnischer Kunstverein, and with which we would like to thank you for your continued support, depicts an apple as an approximately square digital print on cardboard. Represented in matte grey and green tones, the piece of fruit appears misshapen at the bottom, although it is unclear what led to the loss of the apple’s flesh. The work inevitably evokes both the multifaceted symbolism of the apple and the tradition of the vanitas, so the work points far beyond the depicted object.

The implementation of ambitious projects, such as the realization of an association gift, is not possible without the support of our friends and partners. In this respect, we would like to start by thanking Luc Tuymans for agreeing to create a work for the members of the Kölnischer Kunstverein. He follows Rosemarie Trockel, Lawrence Weiner, Kai Althoff, and Isa Genzken. We would also like to thank Gerburg Imhoff, Jutta Rohde, and the Imhoff Stiftung, who all enthusiastically supported the production of the work.

Last but not least, we would like to let you know that the work can be picked up your edition during the exhibition opening hours starting October 21st. Please note that your member’s gift will be reserved for you until August 31st, 2018.

Previous member’s gifts:
Vereinsgabe 2016: Isa Genzken
Vereinsgabe 2015: Kai Althoff
Vereinsgabe 2014: Lawrence Weiner
Vereinsgabe 2013: Rosemarie Trockel

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