ISSN: 20526695
First published in 2015
2 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 1
Cover Date: April 2016
Thematizing failure: The morbid fascination of Luc Tuymans
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Authors:  Stephen Moonie 
DOI: 10.1386/jcp.2.1.57_1

Luc Tuymans,failure,iconoclasm,modernism,postmodernism,contemporary painting

Luc Tuymans’ paintings are often heralded as exemplary of contemporary painting’s historical dilemma. This article argues that a discourse of failure has been formative in shaping Tuymans’ critical reception: a discourse that has drawn heavily on the postmodern critique of painting in the 1980s. Further, this discourse has been formative of Tuymans’ own practice. However, this article argues that despite the productiveness of the discourse of failure – especially with regard to the relationship between Tuymans’ painting and the technologically mediated image – such an approach runs up against certain limits. This is especially apparent in Tuymans’ recent work, which exemplifies a more pronounced ambivalence towards modernism and its legacy.
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