At the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, in Copenhagen, Tal R's paintings and sculptures exhibit something of the emotive non-verbal power of late Rothko. By John Quin
Artists who do a few drawings, a bit of dabbling in video here and a performance piece there, are often lazily described as ‘protean’; a weak excuse to excuse those whose work is diffuse, unfocussed, confused, or an extended and unoriginal parody of an elder and better. But on the evidence of this mid-career retrospective the use of that overused cliché implying a talent for mutability can properly be applied to Tal R.
Here he is in conversation with the critic Terry R. Myers: “I myself have always been interested in changing, moving into different styles, different formats, different materials, in such an obsessive and greedy way that someone should have stopped me, but nobody could and nobody did.” A fact this big show in Denmark makes us thankful for.
The exhibition is entitled ‘Academy of Tal R’, a self-deprecatory and semi-jokey reference to his idiosyncratic approach to teaching and his own kaleidoscopic practice. Each space here is thus visualized as a classroom; so what do we learn?
Image: Tal R, Habakuk, 2017, Acrylic and pigment on canvas, 300 x 500 cm,
Courtesy Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Victoria Miro, London, Cheim & Read, New York, Photographer: Anders Sune Berg, © Paradis/Tal R – Copenhagen