TAL R :

TAL R :

Shortly before he turned fifty, we had the unique pleasure of spending six months with Danish artist Tal R, while he was in the process of making his grand series of nine enormous railcar-paintings, ‘Habakuk’. Watch the intimate and biographical film.

“There’s one character, in the world of characters, that I like the most, and that character is the colon.” Tal R uses the colon to illustrate the relationship between the past, present and future. In this film, Tal R – on the brink of turning fifty – looks forwards as well as backwards and shares what being an artist and a human being means to him, and why the two can’t be separated.

It’s the pictures that have something capricious within them that truly touches the Danish painter: “If you want an aesthetic discussion about when a picture is fabulous, it’s when something in the picture is an unpredictable movement.” Furthermore, as an artist, you have to be as mystified as the observer: “For instance, if an artist paints a store front, part of the drama is imagining what’s inside the store.”

What happens when something from the outside “breaks” or “besmirches” culture? Tal R feels that this is when progress happens: “Within most contexts it’s a catastrophe if you don’t speak the language, but I think nothing opens up language more than those so-called linguistic catastrophes.”

Tal R (b. 1967) is a Danish painter and former guest professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Born Tal Rosenzweig in Tel Aviv to a Danish mother and Czechoslovakian Jewish father, the family moved to Denmark, where Tal R was raised. The title of the series of paintings featured in the film, ’Habakuk’ (2017), is Tal R and his sister’s nickname for their father. Tal R is widely considered to be one of the main forces in bringing painting back after conceptual art dominated the art scene in the 1990s. His work has been shown internationally, e.g. at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Aarhus, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin, Camden Arts Centre in London and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark.

Tal R was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg and Marc-Christoph Wagner from December 2016 to May 2017.

A film by: Kasper Bech Dyg and Marc-Christoph Wagner
Camera: Klaus Elmer
Additional footage: Nikolaj Jungersen & Rasmus Quistgaard
Edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg & Klaus Elmer
Soundmix: Torsten Larsen
Produced by: Kasper Bech Dyg and Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Joyce Pensato

    Advice to the Young

    Homer, Mickey, Batman! Joyce Pensato – known for her unique work inspired by cartoon and comic book characters – here advises young artists to keep at it, love what they’re doing and, most importantly, “show your work, get it out there!”

  • Ulay

    Advice to the Young

    “If you want and need inspiration – go behind the central station.” The iconic artist – and self-proclaimed anarchist – Ulay here advises young artists to avoid art institutions and to make works that meet their own needs rather than that of the audience.

  • George Condo

    The Artist at Work

    The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet.

  • Ulay

    Under My Skin

    This is the story of legendary artist Ulay, famous for his collaboration with Marina Abramović. As a solo artist in search for his identity, Ulay’s radical works have pushed the limits of photography and performance using his own body as material.

  • Olga Tokarczuk

    I Absorb Stories

    Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important Polish writers of her generation – here shares how she draws inspiration from others: “People tell amazing micro-stories or even bigger stories. I seize them, absorb them and transform them in my books.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Mika Rottenberg

    What is the Connection

    The exceptional video artist Mika Rottenberg here presents her intriguing video installation ‘Cosmic Generator.’ Set on the U.S.-Mexico border and in a huge Chinese market, the work explores the collapse – or reinforcement – of distance.