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Tal R: The Forest in My Eyebrow at Tim Van Laere Gallery

October 13–November 26, 2022

Opening: October 13, 6–9pm

The Forest in My Eyebrow, Tal R’s second solo exhibition, is proudly on view at Tim Van Laere Gallery. The new collection of artworks on display in this exhibition are the outcome of an encounter between the artist and a forest opening made possible by trees that had been felled. The artist was forced to create a series of drawings in response to the opening, which oddly appeared to take the form of an eye. He eventually revised these drawings in his studio into colorful drawings on paper, woodcuts, and large-scale paintings. Along with these pieces, Tal also displays a brand-new bronze sculpture in the gallery’s patio.

“There is a strange coincidence in the Danish language that the word forest ‘skovbryn’ and eyebrow ‘øjenbryn’ are very similar to each other,” Tal explains, referring to the title of the exhibition. “So when I saw this eye-shaped space of cut-down trees in the forest, I was intrigued. I took a chair and sat there daily to draw. While I was drawing, I asked myself: What exactly am I looking for? What is it that I am drawing? What am I doing here? When you have been doing this for years, it is no longer about copying the forest. It is no longer about registration. You are doing something else. Something you might not be aware of yourself. So when I talk about an eyebrow and the edge of the forest, it is actually me wondering: How long do I really see the forest before me, and after which amount of time do I start to invent the forest? I think that is a question many artists can relate to. When you draw something outside from yourself, for how long do you see it? What do you actually see? And when do you start to invent your version of it? When do you start to use the world as a mirror for something else you experience in life? This exhibition is about the drawings I made there, moving my chair around in this eye-shaped cut-down forest. I sat down and thought about what I was seeing, and where its meaning lies. Because when you see a tree outside your window you never can communicate all its details. You have to take what I call ‘your artist mathematics’. This is similar to how you would explain a tree over the phone; you have to decide which information is important. That is the first thing you do as an artist: you make a selection.”

Tal R challenges our preconceptions and assumptions about the world around us through his work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, print, textiles, sculpture, and furniture. He attempts to grasp both the physical world he sees in front of him and the abstract objects he only knows through his own systematization of the world, which he refers to as “artist mathematics.” He started this specific journey in the wilderness on tiny pieces of paper with his paintings in black and white. When Tal got back to his studio, he turned these scraps of paper into colored drawings, and that’s when he developed his lexicon for the topic. He then began carving woodcuts and experimenting with different arrangements. These woodcuts evolved into large-scale paintings as soon as he gained more clarity, each with their own vocabulary and requirement for color.

Tal R (b. 1967 Tel Aviv, Israel. Lives and works in Copenhagen) has exhibited internationally, his work is included in many notable collections worldwide, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Kunstpalast, Germany; The Art Institute of Chicago, USA; Essl Museum, Austria; Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Sweden; Bonnefanten Museum, Holland; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland, and many private collections.

Tim Van Laere Gallery
Jos Smolderenstraat 50
2000 Antwerp
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