Woodcut from two blocks on Japanese Kozo Paper 50 gsm
Image size: 40 x 60 cm [ 15.7 x 23.6 inches]
Paper size: 49 x 67 cm [ 19.3 x 26.4 inches]
Edition of 24, signed and numbered.
About the work
Tal R’s Woodcut for the Whitechapel Gallery depicts a solitary bird in a small cage - a recurring motif in the artist’s work. For Tal R the caged bird is both archetypal image and mental state. In this case the bird is an owl, a symbol often associated with wisdom and knowledge.
“What to say about Agnes?
An owl which is far too big for its tiny cage
Despite that it spreads its wings
Like flowers in vases
Fish in aquariums
People have historically put birds in cages
I remember as a child playing hide and seek at a neighbours house
Running around in the, for me, endless corridors
I suddenly found myself hiding in a room behind the door
Listening for the footsteps of my chasing friend
I turned around and a mighty owl was sitting in a cage
That was Agnes”
About the artist
Tal R (born in Tel Aviv, 1967) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. His practice encompasses a diverse range of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, textiles, sculpture and furniture. Often working in bold primary colors, his work features recurring motifs such as stripes, hills, or starburst patterns. With reference to expressionism and fauvism, Tal R’s image-making walks the line between representation and capturing a fleeting association or atmosphere. His subject matter is intentionally easy to describe, but meaning, as in dreams, is enigmatic. Tal R cites the Hebrew word ‘kolbojnik’, meaning ‘leftovers’', to describe his process of gathering inspiration from diverse sources - from historical references, to traditional Scandinavian art, outsider art and his own personal histories.
Solo exhibitions have been held at Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Denmark (2007); Kunsthalle Mannheim (2007); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2008); Camden Arts Centre, London (2008); Cheim & Read, New York (2012, 2015); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (2012); Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, São Paolo (2012); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2012); Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany (2013); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2013); ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Århus, Denmark (2013); Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (2011, 2015); Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2015, 2016); and Institut für Modern Künst, Nürnberg (2016); TAL R: Sexshops, Victoria Miro, London (2017); Denmark Academy of Tal R, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; travelling to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2017); Tal R: eventually all museums will be ships, Hastings Contemporary, Hastings, UK (2019)
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