'The boldest, best executed, and most far-reaching publishing project devoted to contemporary art. These books will revolutionize the way contemporary art is presented and written about.' (Artforum) 'The combination of intelligent analysis, personal insight, useful facts and plentiful pictures is a superb format invaluable for specialists but also interesting for casual readers, it makes these books a must for the library of anyone who cares about contemporary art.' (Time Out) 'A unique series of informative monographs on individual artists.' (The Sunday Times) 'Amongst other recently published monographs, the revised and enlarged edition of Phaidon's Luc Tuymans, from its Contemporary Artists Series is opportune as it is just in time for his major show at Tate Modern in the Summer of 2004. Indeed Tate will find it difficult to match the breadth and scale of this book in any exhibition catalogue it may choose to produce. Tuymans is rapidly gaining ground as the successor to Gerhard Richter as the History Painter of the late 20th Century, and this book, which amounts to a catalogue raisonne as nearly every one of his paintings is reproduced, goes some way towards confirming his reputation.' (Andrew Wilson (deputy editor of) Art Monthly)
Tuymans' monochromatic palette and choice of subject matter - domestic interiors, commonplace objects or family portraits - link painting with post-war filmmaking and amateur photography. The sources of other images on his canvases give his work a brooding violence. Although modest in scale and sensitive in execution, this work is powerful in its haunting evocation of lost lives and repressed histories. In general Tuymans' works are painted in groups for each show and with the venue and the exhibition space in mind. For example, when he represented his country in the Belgian Pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennial, Tuymans produced a cycle of works based on the murder of the first post-independence Prime Minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Other works in the cycle show images of African sculpture copies from a statue in a Belgian restaurant and images from the Belgian Royal Museum's African collection. These works raised issues about colonialism and post-colonialism, but also came at a time when a parliamentary commission was investigating the links between the Belgian government and royal family's policies and the death of Lumumba.