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Luc Tuymans Self Portrait for Bonhams Auction

Prize Winning Self Portrait Made By A Young Artist Who Became Leading Modern Artist For Sale At Bonhams

luc-tuymans.jpgThe winning self-portrait that modern artist Luc Tuymans (born 1958) entered into an art competition at the age of 19, in the hope that it would help shape his success as an artist, will be sold in the Impressionist and Modern sale at Bonhams in New Bond Street on Wednesday 18 June.

During the 1970’s, the Belgian bank Dexia, organized a competition for young talented artists, called “Line, colour and volume “. Luc Tuymans, already determined to become a successful artist, came out as the winner, and this was, without any doubt, the start of his great career.

Produced in 1977, the iconic early oil on canvas of the Belgian artist is estimated at £250,000-£350,000.

Born in 1958 Luc Tuymans is considered one of today’s most influential modern painters. Recently some of his work was exhibited in “The Triumph of Painting” exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Tuymans was also in a key survey of modern and contemporary art at Whitechapel gallery in 1999.

Tuymans was born in Mortsel, Belgium. He studied fine art at the Sint-Lukasinstituut in Brussels, and subsequently also studied art history at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels. His work blends the tradition of old master Flemish and Spanish genre painting with ideas and images from recent history. He first exhibited in 1985. His first U.S. exhibition was at The Renaissance Society in Chicago in 1995.

Tuymans’ work is figurative and makes extensive use of techniques from photography, television and film, such as cropping, framing, sequencing and (sometimes extreme) close-ups. His palette usually tends toward monochrome. Subjects of his paintings range from the historic, for example covering the Holocaust or colonial politics in Belgian Congo, to the very banal, depicting everyday objects. Some of his paintings represent abstract emotions. For a while he abandoned painting completely to make films.

He lives in Antwerp and is married to the Venezuelan artist, Carla Arocha, who has had recent exhibitions at the Chicago Institute of Art, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago and Andre Schlechtriem Gallery, New York.

More highlights include a wonderful pastel of a trio of dancers by Degas (£500,000-700,000), two important Sisley oils (£350,000-450,000) and (£250,000-350,000) respectively and an unusual early slash work by Fontana in flat clay relief (£50,000-70,000).