The four colour etchings Isabel, Diorama, Scramble,
and Twenty Seventeen
are based on iPhone photographs that Tuymans took while painting. They reveal an early, unfinished stage, which immediately evaporates during the creative process. The paint strokes that Tuymans places in the margin of the painting and the edges of the canvas are also incorporated in the etched image. The ephemeral plays a crucial role in the artist’s work: these colour etchings belong to the same category as his tempera murals which no longer exist. At the same time, they offer a special insight into Tuymans’ working process. The crumpled piece of paper in Scramble
– still pale in the etching – becomes a monumental, colourful ball in the painting, which contrasts sharply with the dark background. The canary in Isabel
will eventually become bright yellow, a surprising colour in Tuymans’ work.