Lamp Room


Oil on canvas

48.5 × 56.4 cm (19 1/8 × 22 3/16 in.)

A wall, a door, and three coat hangers are barely visible on a toneless backdrop. In this quasi-monochrome painting, Luc Tuymans focuses on one part of a room. Even though the framing suggests there is more space around, the atmosphere is stifling, almost oppressive.

In many respects, Lamp Room exemplifies Tuymans' pictorial practice, which he has been pursuing since the late 1980s. By painting after photographs (press clips, archives or personal Polaroid photographs), he brings an enigmatic, upsetting dimension to the most banal visions and objects. Through his suggestive touch, sometimes through forced ageing, the artist brings the image into the realm of the intangible or indeed trauma.

Held in the Pinault Collection, Lamp Room was first shown in 2006 at the Where Are We Going? exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice.