Tal R, 'Name, Year and Departure', 2007
Today Camden Arts Centre will open an exhibition of Tal R's large-scale paintings and an installation of over 200 etchings. Born in Israel and spearheading the prevalence of painting in Denmark where he lives, Tal R challenges the fundamentals of painting using a fixed colour palette and set dimensions. In this exhibition, entitled 'The Sum', the artist uses seven colours: black, white, pink, green, red, yellow and brown, often applied directly from the tube. Breaking away from style and narrative, he focuses on graphic mark-making and collage, using characteristic blobs and small 'worms' of oil paint. The overall effect is childlike, yet the exuberant surfaces hide the seriousness of their content. Floor-based coloured 'pedestals' present paintings as sculpture alongside his wall-based work.
Tal R's innumerable influences range from the performances of Bas Jan Ader to the drawing of Matisse, the dark history of The Holocaust to the intimacy of his own back garden and, most prominently, comic books and children's doodling.
Figurative elements, landscapes and people conflict with the imaginary spaces they occupy within his paintings. Tal R tests his self imposed systems; recurring elements such as the beam and lintel structure are pushed and pulled around the surface of the paintings. He creates a stage for the action onto which his audience are invited to step.
The exhibition also showcases over 200 intimate etchings, executed with incredible speed and energy. They reveal the repeated images and marks used by Tal R in a kind of dictionary of signs. Tal R works across an extraordinary range of artistic media including sculpture, music and books. Many of his self published artist's books will be on display at Camden Arts Centre, as will a new film in which he stars, 'A Ship is not an Island' (2007).
Tal R was born in 1967 in Israel and has lived and worked in Copenhagen since completing his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen in 2000. From 2005 - 2007, Tal R was a guest professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Recent solo shows include Tal R: The Look, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Toyko; Working hard during the day naked at night, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo; Tal R, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim (all 2007). In 2006 he showed at Zach Feuer Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow and Galerie Sabine Knust, Münich. Other solo shows include House of Prince, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2004); New born, but same old phone number, Tal Esther Gallery, Tel Aviv; Arcade, Bawag Foundation, Vienna, Austria (both 2003). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions since 1992, with recent shows including Effiges, Modern Art, London and The Believers, MASS Moca, Massachussets (2007); Mother with Jonathan Meese, Bortolami-Dayan, NY (2006) and The Kingston Turnpike, Turnpike Gallery, Leigh and Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston Upon Thames (2006); and curated Huts at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2004)
Tal R: The Sum
1 May - 29 June
Camden Arts Centre
London NW3 6DG
T: +44 (0)20 7472 5500