DE. FI. CIEN. CY examines a shared concern with the failure, or the ‘deficiency’, of pictorial representation. The exhibition includes over 50 works on paper by Polish artist Andrzej Wróblewski (1927-57), Dutch artist René Daniels (b.1950) and Belgian artist Luc Tuymans (b.1958). Tuymans will also be making an in situ wall drawing for Drawing Room galleries. In the hands of these artists, ‘deficiency’ becomes a positive agent of artistic achievement. Their shared preoccupation with the failure of pictorial representation has been triggered by a range of personal and political issues, and this exhibition demonstrates affinities and disparities between the work of the three artists, across generations and cultures.
Wroblewski’s work after 1955 is informed by a double trauma, that of Nazi atrocities and of the apparently failed communist model. Tuymans reacts to a rift traversing his own family, one part of which collaborated with the German occupation while the other resisted. He consequently engages in the revision of a poisoned past and instances of ideological systems. Daniels’s work engages with the 1980s ‘return to painting’ by addressing the institutionalisation and commodification of the art work.
Since the end of the 1990s, Tuymans has produced wall paintings based on earlier paintings or drawings. His wall drawing for Drawing Room departs from this practice and will be based on photographed installation views of his work. This wall drawing will highlight the fact that Tuymans openly appropriates and recycles his own work – highlighting the issue of the faded, ‘deficient’ image that draws the power of its sensuous presence from its impotence.