München (Munich)


Oil on canvas

158 x 79 cm

Luc Tuymans says München "carries a threat; you can feel something is going on without knowing
exactly what.” This sense of foreboding may be due to the impossibility of identifying the character, who is crowned, masked and wrapped in a heavy blue garment.

The Belgian artist based this work on a photograph of the Haus der Kunst (House of Arts) carnival parade in 1933 in Munich. The Haus der Kunst in Munich was full of strong symbolism: it was a centre of Nazi cultural propaganda and a venue for the 1937 "Degenerate Art" exhibition. Tuymans repeatedly explores the theme of carnival, an ambiguous time when collective celebration can turn into devastating madness.

This work was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the monographic show "La Pelle" (“The Skin”) at the Palazzo Grassi (2019-2020).