BORCH Gallery & Editions
Tal R: Adidas Boy
Tal R: Adidas Boy
The imagery of Tal R’s 'Adidas Boy,' a suite of 24 woodcuts printed on Japanese paper, refers to a group of bronze sculptures he created for his 2020 solo exhibition at Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket in Copenhagen. These sculptures are the artists first foray into the medium of bronze sculpture. In the prints as well as in the sculptures, the beholder is introduced to a wide array of animals and people from Tal R's universe. Only this time—as Christine Buhl Andersen, curator of the exhibition at Glyptoteket, writes in her essay included in the exhibition catalog— '[the figures are] closely related to the history of sculpture as we know it from the 19th-century Paris of Degas, Rodin and Maillol and the gentleman’s study of Modernism: Mr. Giacometti, Mr. Ernst and Mr. Moore... Forms and figures digested and reincarnated as fragments and scraps, surprisingly reborn like scavenged remnants recycled in the hands of Tal R today, in a different world – in a new age.'
The concept of revisiting his own imagery for a printmaking project is a familiar work method for Tal R. In connection to his sculptures however, this work approach seems especially appropriate: the physical act of carving into a printing plate and coping with the material’s resistance shares many similarities with the creation of a sculpture.
For 'Adidas Boy' Tal R depicts figures from his milieu, sketched in white lines against monochrome backgrounds, which accentuate the wood grain of the blocks he had been working on. During the test printing process with master printer Julie Dam, he decided not to use pure black ink, but to add a small amount of colour pigment to the individual prints resulting in subtle colour variations. This effect becomes most evident when the suite of prints is installed as a sequence.
Tal R, 'Adidas Boy' (2020), detail
"Take the top of the tall Headless Drummer Boy, with his drum, arms and drumsticks akimbo. At first glance we see long, Giacometti legs on the move. But no, this is 21st-century fashion, baggy Adidas pants following the beat, an overgrown and grown-up street kid with limbs out of synch, erect and mindless, marching ahead on reflex and instinct."
Christine Buhl Andersen, Tal R. Animals and People, Glyptoteket, 2020
Tal R, 'Rose' (2020), 'Headless Drummer Boy' (2019), 'Little You' (2020), photo: Anders Sune Berg, copyright: Paradis/Tal R - Copenhagen
Detail of the woodcut plate for 'Rose' (2020)
Installation view of the full series of Tal R's 'Adidas Boy' (2020)
TAL R, born 1967 in Tel Aviv, lives and works in Copenhagen. His solo exhibitions include venues like Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Copenhagen, 2020) Hastings Contemporary (Hastings, 2019), Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2018), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2018), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, 2017), Villa Schöningen (Potsdam, 2016), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich, 2013), and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2012). His works are included in collections such as the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Art Institute of Chicago, Kiasma (Helsinki), Museum Kunstpalast (Düsseldorf) and Statens Museum for Kunst (Copenhagen). Tal R has been collaborating with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 1995.