Luc Tuymans’ Superstition is based on his oil painting from 1994, measuring 46.7 x 41.9 cm. It was first exhibited at his Superstition shows at Portikus in Frankfurt am Main (August 19 – August 22 1994) and at David Zwirner in New York (October 29 – December 3 1994). In 2004, the painting was exhibited as part of Luc Tuymans’ mid-career retrospective at the Tate Modern in London (23 June – 26 September 2004).
“Tuymans has described Superstition as a painting about art and transgression. He has said that he often makes his paintings appear clumsy, and ‘deprived of aesthetics’ so that there is more focus on meaning: ‘Superstition could be a nom de plume for art. Art that transgresses, that transmits. The insect in Superstition sucks you in. It’s almost shamanistic.’” – Tate Modern, 2004.
“The insect (“Superstition”) with its incredible size and color, covers the figure, like a projected black-out of the spectator. Is the insect as a species not the element ‘par excellence’ to translate anonymity? The grateful image offers the determined shape and enormity of a hostile mutant. He or she, who suffers from arachnophobia, unconsciously enlarges the real subject of their fear to unknown proportions. The insect hides this surrender.” – Robert Van Ruysevelt in “Superstition. Luc Tuymans”, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, 1994.