Luc Tuymans' Allo! At David Zwirner London

David Zwirner presents an exhibition of new paintings by Luc Tuymans, which will inaugurate the gallery’s first European location on 24 Grafton Street in Mayfair, London. The Belgian artist joined David Zwirner in 1994 and this marks his ninth solo show with the gallery and the first in London since his 2004 retrospective at the Tate Modern. Tuymans is widely credited with having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s. His sparsely colored, figurative works speak in a quiet, restrained, and at times unsettling voice, and are typically painted from pre-existing imagery which includes photographs and video stills. The present exhibition comprises a series of paintings entitled Allo! While an initial source of inspiration was Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899), the visual reference for the works was the final scene in the 1942 film The Moon and Sixpence, which itself is an adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s eponymous novel from 1919. The plot is loosely based upon the life of Paul Gauguin and revolves around a stockbroker who leaves his job and family to become an artist, eventually settling in Tahiti. Following his death several years later, his doctor travels to the primitive studio he left behind and discovers his paintings—swirly, colorful landscapes and nudes—moments before the late artist’s Tahitian widow sets fire to everything. Luc Tuymans: Allo! will be on view from October 5 to November 17, 2012 at David Zwirner Gallery, 24 Grafton Street, London.