The project Faraway So Close by Tina Gillen (b. 1972 in Luxembourg), developed by Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean for the 59th Venice Biennale, is an ambitious painting installation made especially for the Luxembourg Pavilion. It will be the 16th exhibition to represent the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale.
Although rooted in painting, and acutely conscious of its traditions, Tina Gillen’s work brings this discipline into contact with other media, such as photography, sculpture, installation and cinema. Her paintings often use images from everyday life as their starting point, reworking and combining them within compositions that maintain a degree of ambiguity, between abstraction and figuration, construction and improvisation. Her most recent work departs from the traditional framework of the canvas to explore the relationship between the pictorial surface and three-dimensional space.
Faraway So Close is intended as a tableau vivant for the Luxembourg Pavilion that reflects on the relationship between inner space and the outside world. It takes form within a specially conceived exhibition design inspired by painted film sets and explores many of the themes running through Gillen’s work, including architecture, landscape and the relationship between abstraction and figuration. It will also inaugurate new site-specific paintings and other works conceived in dialogue with the historic setting of the Sale d’Armi in the Arsenale.
The exhibition is accompanied by a research project entitled Forms of Life, including monthly seminars at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, where Gillen teaches painting, and a workshop in Venice during the Biennale.
Mudam Luxembourg has been appointed project leader for the official representation of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at the 59th Venice Biennale by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Culture.
Tina Gillen (1972, Luxembourg) has held solo exhibitions at BOZAR, Brussels (2015); Mudam Luxembourg (2012); M–Museum, Leuven (2010); and Galerie Nosbaum Reding, Luxembourg, which has been representing her since 2001. Her work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions at institutions including Mudam Luxembourg (2018, 2010, 2009); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2012); Mu.ZEE, Ostend (2010); Wiels, Brussels (2009); M HKA, Antwerp (2007); and Platform Garanti, Istanbul (2004). Two monographic publications document her work: Echo (MER. Paper Kunsthalle, 2016) and Necessary Journey (Hatje Cantz, 2009). She lives and works in Brussels.