Tal R: Home Alone
Katrien Loret (text)
Tim Van Laere Gallery, 2020
Tim Van Laere Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition by Tal R, entitled Home Alone. The exhibition includes a new series of paintings, gouaches and drawings.
Tal R (°Tel Aviv, Israel. Lives and works in Copenhagen) transforms everything in his environment into art. His works are known for their daring colors and vivid imagery. Tal R works with a variety of techniques and media including painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, print and furniture. Tal R is a keen observer, who takes inspiration from reality as well as his imagination. His work fits within the northern European tradition of Edvard Munch, Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby and Georg Baselitz. Historical and art-historical references are abundant: threads of expressionism, fauvism and symbolism continue, as well as a nod to traditional Scandinavian art, art nouveau, outsider art and children’s paintings. Tal R’s enigmatic work offers intersections of personal experience and wider history through a visual jigsaw, finely balanced between representation and abstraction, of what the artist has termed ‘Kolbojnik,’ a Hebrew term for leftovers. His unique vision, self-identification as an outsider and ability to sample the two worlds of his different heritages, has produced an artistic language that constantly questions our surrounding realities.
According to Tal R one can easily describe the subject of his works over the phone. In Home Alone Tal shows a series of birds in their cages and a series of still lifes. The titles of the works refer to the literary work of Bruno Schulz. In his Cinnamon Shops, a collection of interlinked stories, the most prosaic elements of everyday life become fantastic, full of mystery, capable of containing and at times revealing the deepest secrets of existence. Each story floats between the realism of his own autobiography and a fantastical fiction. In one of his stories Schulz tells about his father’s collection of a colony of birds in the attic, which served as an inspiration to Tal’s series of birds in their cage. Tal’s birds are delicately balanced between representation and abstraction, with abstract shapes and fields of color. The linings of the cage divide the canvas and provide structure to the stacking of different paint colors. In his series of still lifes, Tal depicts a series of objects that have been carefully arranged on a table top. These objects are as familiar as they are estranged. They are the objects that have been taken from their initial place and lost their name. Just like in Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, where the toys come to live as soon as the door closes, Tal gives these objects new life by painting or drawing them. Many of these objects carry references towards the stories of Schulz, but just like the author Tal’s interest is not so much in the story itself but in a proces of regeneration.