Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Vienna: Fog over Malia Bay

Tal R
Fog over Malia Bay

23.02.13 – 27.04.13

Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman is proud to announce its second exhibition with the artist Tal R. In Innsbruck, in 2004, we presented his series House of Prince, which in the meantime has travelled far, receiving a lot of attention internationally, and now is part of the Sammlung Essl collection. After exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, among other places, we are very pleased to once again be able to present works by this unconventional young artist.

Paintings and sculptures alone would hardly suffice to form an impression of the huge, apparently inexhaustible potential of the artist and person Tal R who in his work avails himself of many means of expression, such as collage, painting, objects, graphics, as well as bronze and ceramic. Fog over Malia Bay is not an exhibition in the conventional sense of the word. Much rather, it is a journey taking the observer to all kinds of imaginable and unimaginable corners of the world. With his colourful oeuvre, the artist evokes a new dimension of experience, which is sorely missing in much of the art world, stuck as it is in implicit rules and conventions. Here, art once more goes back to being a playful force in an otherwise all too serious world.

The exhibition – encompassing pictures, drawings, bronzes, ceramics and large-sized canvases – radiates a joy that is both unusual and refreshing. Drawing on art history, on experience and memory, the works repeatedly seem to echo Jean-Michel Basquiat's graffiti art or the colours and forms found in Edvard Munch's "The Artists's Retina: Optical Illusion from the Eye Disease" (1930). Tal R is an eclectic artist who never has shied away from resorting to old techniques and conventions, that he in the process integrates into his work and transforms according to his needs. The ceramics, produced with the help of the old Raku firing technique, are a particular highlight of the exhibition. The technique, developed in sixteenth-century Japan, gives the sculptures a special charisma and shine. The objects being buried in the ground during the firing process, patterns and fine cracks appear on the surfaces that give each of them an unrepeatable, unique structure and appearance. Joyful games such as these make Tal R's oeuvre an highly fascinating universe of things, which one gladly loses oneself in full of childlike delight.

The works making up Fog over Malia May were inspired by an expedition to Greenland, which the artist undertook in the summer of 2011, together with his painter friend Daniel Richter and several scientists. It also explains the ever present, implicit and explicit references to landscape, sea and, above all, ships. These subjects occupy an important place in Tal R's repertoire of ideas. The artist's perpetual journey is a playful oscillating between children's books, trash culture and the funny much rather than erotic magazines bashfully populating the upper regions of the newsstands. This colourful and, in the best sense of the word, innocent side of Tal R comes out especially in the paintings exhibited. These are boundless images, temperamental, jumping out at us from their frames, which the artist has designed himself. Aside from all the implications contained in Tal R's art, the latter is one thing more than anything: a gift to the observer. It gifts us with the ships that our thinking is so desperately in need of.

Tal R, born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1967, lives and works in Copenhagen.

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