Tuymans' monochromatic palette and choice of subject matter - domestic interiors, commonplace objects or family portraits - link painting with post-war filmmaking and amateur photography. The sources of other images on his canvases give his work a brooding violence. Although modest in scale and sensitive in execution, this work is powerful in its haunting evocation of lost lives and repressed histories. In general Tuymans' works are painted in groups for each show and with the venue and the exhibition space in mind. For example, when he represented his country in the Belgian Pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennial, Tuymans produced a cycle of works based on the murder of the first post-independence Prime Minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Other works in the cycle show images of African sculpture copies from a statue in a Belgian restaurant and images from the Belgian Royal Museum's African collection. These works raised issues about colonialism and post-colonialism, but also came at a time when a parliamentary commission was investigating the links between the Belgian government and royal family's policies and the death of Lumumba.
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