Luc Tuymans: Is It Safe?

Edited by Pablo Sigg and Tommy Simoens. Texts by Luc Tuymans, Pablo Sigg, Tommy Simoens, and Gerrit Vermeiren

Produced in close collaboration with the artist, this volume presents more than 100 paintings produced between 2004 and 2008. Beginning with Les Cinq Anneaux and concluding with Against the Day, Luc Tuymans produced a landmark suite of seven thematically linked bodies of work. With a visual narrative that traces the philosophical and psychic roots of contemporary civilization, the series interweave a range of sources — from St. Peter’s Basilica to Disneyland to the Big Brother house — that together tell the banal and terrifying story of our times. Also included are photographs, preparatory drawings, watercolors, and installation views, all in full color.

Introducing each body of work is a text written by the artist. ‘Proper,’ an essay by Belgian art historian Gerrit Vermeiren, looks at one body of work in detail, tracing the themes of each painting and capturing the cultural atmosphere of the moment in which they were produced. ‘Tuymans, Loyola, Leibniz,’ specially commissioned from Pablo Sigg, an artist and writer based in Mexico, provides historical and philosophical context. An extensive interview by Belgian artist Tommy Simoens offers further insight into Tuymans’s thinking and motivations.


Publisher: Phaidon

Artists: Luc Tuymans

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 10 x 11 1/4 in (25.4 x 28.6 cm)

Pages: 224 pages, 180 color

ISBN: 9780714856032

Retail: $70 US & Canada | £48 | €63

Status: Out Of Print

Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans (b. 1958, Mortsel) is a Belgian artist who is internationally known for his paintings that engage equally with questions of history and its representation as with quotidian subject matter cast in unfamiliar and eerie light. Painted from preexisting imagery, his works often appear slightly out-of-focus and sparsely colored, like third-degree abstractions from reality. Whereas earlier works were based on magazine pictures, drawings, television footage, and Polaroids, recent source images include material accessed online and the artist’s own iPhone photos, printed out and sometimes re-photographed several times. Since the 1980s, Tuymans has steadily exhibited in the United States, Europe, and abroad, and his work is represented in major museum collections.

All Luc Tuymans books