The Elephant Behind the Clown

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Born in Tel Aviv in 1967 and now living in Copenhagen, the artist rose to fame with his seemingly naïvely painted abstractions, in which some viewers liked to spot visual goulash for one, or simply celebrated the values of artistic expression and its autonomy, pre­sumed dead a long time ago. Alongside a simple abstraction of figur­a­tive signs, the powerful, strictly selected and deployed palette of colours was particularly eye-catching. The paintings were impressive because of their calculated and brightly coloured radiance.
For quite some time now, TAL R has been altering the essential fig­-ur­a­tion in his paintings, guiding its abstract quality back into a styl­ised and yet an apparently standardised form, which one might describe perhaps as a condition one step ahead of actual abstraction, and so concomitantly, the ornamental element also recedes.
This pull towards Classicism is further supported by a complete ­renunciation of previous techniques. Instead of the application of pastose oils, a mixture of rabbit-skin glue and pigments is now ­directly deployed on ungrounded canvas so that a fresco-like tone dominates the surface.

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