‘Academy of Tal R’ offers the first in-depth exploration into the artistic journey of one of the most active and productive painters of our time.

Academy of Tal R
14.10.2017 – 21.1.2018
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

His sources of inspiration are numerous and include styles of other artistes like Picasso, Dumas and Picabia. Featuring roughly 170 works, consisting of new pieces made especially for this exhibition and an overview of the vibrant work of Tal R from the past twenty years, this mid-career retrospective is the largest survey of his oeuvre to date. ‘Academy of Tal R’ is a collaboration with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark

“This presentation of Tal R’s insatiable output and energy - coming now to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - really demonstrates his appetite for inspiration and his variety of form. The exhibition further highlights a more subconscious and considerate side of his output.”
- Sjarel Ex, Director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The exhibition highlights that Tal R (b. 1967) from the outset has been a storyteller with a special eye for the overlooked, hidden and repressed spaces of modern life. The exhibition title ‘Academy of Tal R’ should be understood as a mildly humorous provocation, since his artwork always appears free, wild, vital and unacademic. Tal R’s work is personal, his imaginary world is connected with the reality that surrounds him. Already from an early age drawing was essential: “For me, drawing was the same as dreaming at night: you don’t decide what to dream about, you dream about what you need.” His self-identification as an outsider, caught between two worlds, has fuelled a fertile artistic landscape of shifting realities.
With a dynamic exhibition design, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will invite visitors to step into the unique and dynamic world of Tal R. ‘Academy of Tal R’ will include known but rarely seen masterpieces, such as the gigantic ‘House of Prince’ (2003-2005), consisting of almost 200 smaller paintings; and a large and immersive display of sculptures – over 40 in total – which will be installed by Tal R himself, and in which the viewer becomes a participant as they walk among the pieces.

Known for his flamboyant, colorful paintings and exuberant imagery, Tal R’s oeuvre consists of works in drawing, print, textile, sculpture and furniture. His more recent paintings see an evolution in his methodology, both compositionally and in the application of paint. Saturated color is weighted by shadow; festooned and radiant scenes, are simultaneously claustrophobic and labyrinthine. His subject matter is intentionally easy to describe, but meaning, as in dreams, is enigmatic.

Tal R has often used the word 'kolbojnik', meaning leftovers in Hebrew, to describe his practice of sourcing and collecting a wide range of imagery, figurative and abstract, from high and low culture. Installed collectively, Tal R’s works can eschew adherence to a single aesthetic style in favor of a non-hierarchical exploration of material and form, playing with the porous boundary between art and life.

Tal R
Born in Tel Aviv in 1967, Tal R lives and works in Copenhagen. Previous solo exhibitions have recently been staged at institutional venues including Victoria Miro, Londen (2017), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2017), ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark (2013 - 2014); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2013); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, travelling to Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (both 2013); Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, São Paulo (2012); Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2012); Kunstverein Augsburg-Holbeinhaus, Augsburg, Germany (2011); Der Kunstverein, Hamburg (2011); Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm (2009); Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen (2009); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2008); Camden Arts Centre, London (2008); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2007); and Kunsthalle Mannheim (2007). Tal held a Guest Professorship at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 2005–2014.


Photos: Aad Hoogendoorn,  Ernst Moritz, Anders Sune Berg