The Book


Oil on canvas

306 × 212 cm (120 1/2 × 83 7/16 in.)

To make The Book, Luc Tuymans took two truncated pages of a book on religious architecture and reproduced them in a large painting. A crease is clearly visible, dividing the blurred view of a Baroque church nave along a vertical slanted line.

Unlike analytical, illusionistic painting aiming to realistically reproduce details, Tuymans freely uses impasto and flat colours. Overloaded, painted or sculpted decorative motifs gradually fade to enhance the architectural structure, a vast ghostly space in shades of yellow, ochre and white.

Alongside other monumental paintings by the same artist, including Still Life, The Look is in the Pinault Collection. It was exhibited at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana during the group show "Mapping the Studio" (2009-2011).