Hardback144 PagesSize: 280 × 240 mm
100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848222311Publication: December 27, 2019
Series: Contemporary Painters Series

'It is in many ways in keeping with the development of Tal R's pictorial language that Martin Herbert's very useful book - the first proper monograph on the artist - is only published now. Working for three decades on the ruins and pinnacles of the ever-contested medium of painting, Tal R has repeatedly undone and rebuilt his style. He is a magical artist who has played a leading role in contemporary painting.'
Anders Kold   Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Tal R

Martin Herbert


  • The first fully illustrated monograph on the work of internationally renowned artist Tal R
  • One of the leading painters of his generation, Tal R has exhibited work internationally in a huge number of solo and group exhibitions
  • Martin Herbert exposes the grandness of the artist's project, which has at times seen him run a separate studio for each different medium in which he works

This book assesses the paintings of Tal R (b. 1967), an Israeli-born Danish artist whose enigmatic work offers intersections of personal experience and wider history through a visual jigsaw, finely balanced between representation and abstraction, of what the artist has termed 'Kolbojnik', a Hebrew term for leftovers.

Tal R's paintings are exceptionally idiosyncratic yet informed by an expansive view of the history of painting, with a diverse range of references including Fauvism, Symbolism and folk art. To the casual observer, his works depict amalgams of people, places and things. But deeper scrutiny reveals them as complex conceptual playgrounds where these seemingly simple categories are exploded and examined as 'construction' sites of both literal material (including collage, photography and sculpture) and meaning.

For all students and lovers of painting, Tal R's works, like those of Chris Ofili or Laura Owens, have cleared a pathway for painting to continue after modernism and post-modernism without apology, beyond the worn-out 'death of painting' mantra. Martin Herbert's fascinating text offers an authoritative account of the twists and turns that path has taken so far.

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