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Notes

The Word Trap

Recently I came across an article by Simon Morley on the work of Luc Tuymans, reviewing a show at the ICA in 1995. As I scanned down the column, one sentence startled me by appearing at first completely meaningless: "The interesting thing about Tuymans' work is that, to a considerable degree, it maintains the aesthetic trappings of transcendence but deconstructs them from within." *

What possible set of circumstances, I thought, could lead to someone writing a sentence such as that? About a painting? Of course, the sentence makes perfect sense in the context of the article, but I was left with the feeling that there is an unbridgeable gap between descriptive or discursive language of the visual, and the experience of the visual itself.

* Art monthly, May 1995, No. 186, p.28