Two hundred and eighty seven

Science Fiction

2011 Exhibition by Tal R
Victoria Miro 14

Tal R’s paintings have always been playful experimentations of colour. What is wonderful about his latest work is that it marries this child-like freedom of conception with a more traditional, a more ‘serious’, composition. Tal opens up a world somewhere between the wide inquisitive eyes of a child, taking in each detail of surrounding as if they were jewels — where everyday detail becomes exquisite — and the reflective watch of an adult, where evaluation of relationships and situation comes into play. Drawing on this harmony of celebratory observation and watchful consideration, Tal’s paintings capture an atmosphere of life that encourages positivity and curiosity, picturing for us day-to-day scenes with their potential to entertain. There is no doubt that colour plays a large part in this; not only is Tal’s colour wonderfully varied, it is sumptuous and bright in its intensity. Even when faded Tal’s colour has an arresting quality and texture that absorbs the eye. It is perhaps no wonder that Tal’s colour has such effect, as in these paintings he plays with the historical technique of distemper, where rabbit glue is mixed with pure pigment. This historical element in his approach is also evident in his subject, where gentlemen wear hats and long coats, smoking pipes that reach to the ground. Tal tells stories with his rainbow of colours; it is little wonder that such bright and detailed paintings hide narrations. Full of possibility, Tal’s paintings have a leading quality that draws us into pondering the before and after of these scenes. Tal exploits the possibilities of painting by playing with it, drawing on historical method and mixing his palette with the curiosity of subject — these paintings are celebrations of art in themselves.

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