Tal R

With their flamboyant colours and exuberantly painted imagery, Tal R's paintings give the impression of being simple, almost turning high art into child's play. While they are certainly direct, with paint often squeezed straight from the tube, his canvases in fact wear their sophistication and intelligence lightly. Central to the work is Tal R's profound understanding of painterly tradition which simultaneously accommodates muscular, expressive brushstrokes used to describe people, objects or places, and a stabilising pictorial format informed in part by formalist abstraction. The paintings with which Tal R came to prominence are divided into three horizontal bands which can be read by the viewer as levels of different activity.

More recently, insistent verticals or horizontals, cut and layered canvases, starburst forms and borders give the work structure while Tal R's colour scheme is often restricted to a handful of hues. These schematic and chromatic controls allow for even greater freedom in terms of subject matter, which might embrace myths of creation or darker themes. Tal R has often used the word 'kolbojnik', meaning leftovers in Hebrew, to describe his practice of sourcing and collecting a wide range of imagery, figurative and abstract, from high and low culture. Whether in paintings, drawings, prints, textiles or videos his resourceful, energetic orchestration of elements expresses generosity of spirit and, above all, joy.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1967, Tal R lives and works in Copenhagen. He has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen (2009), Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2008), Camden Arts Centre, London (2008), Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Denmark (2007), and Kunsthalle Mannheim (2007), and currently holds a Guest Professorship at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
The Japan, 2009
Oil on linen, 200 x 200 cms 78.8 x 78.8 inches