Lives in Amsterdam (NL), born in Cape Town (ZA).
'I am an artist who uses second-hand images and first-hand emotions'. - Marlene Dumas, 1989
Marlene Dumas (°1953) grows up in Cape Town, South Africa under the apartheid regime, which continues to have a big influence on her critical thinking. She studies painting at the Cape Town Academy. The dark, figurative and worrisome works from that period are permeated by a sultry unrest. The censorship, however, starts to weigh on her and in 1976 she moves to Amsterdam, where she still lives today.
During the first years in Amsterdam she works mostly with paper, creating large drawings in pencil, ink or chalk, usually with text, sometimes with newspaper and magazine clippings. The paper is pasted, torn, mottled and scratched. Dumas brings together events from her own life and stories and images from movies and books, but she always allows the viewers to make their own interpretation.
The role of women is a central starting point in her work, ranging from the female nude, which has lost its meaning, to the naked woman who loses her senses. She paints many portraits, sometimes in soft colours, that present hard truths. A portraits of a child shows no laughing, rosy face, but an aged child with a stony look, full of knowing. Many faces cover her canvases, ranging from the mentally ill to female idols.
Dumas searches for a specific person, rather than the general, a person set in a specific time, rather than a symbol. Her paintings share the same qualities as the photographic source material: a directness, loss of details, overexposure, lack of sharpness and skewed proportions.
Items View all
Marlene Dumas - Strips/No...
Marlene Dumas, Marlene Dumas - Strips/No interviews please, 1987. Book, ink, paper, 31.2 x 22.6 cm, publisher : Stichting één op één, Amsterdam, nr. 4.
Magdalena (a painting nee...
Marlene Dumas, Magdalena (a painting needs a wall to object to), 1995. Painting, oil on canvas, 200 x 100 cm.
Events View all
EXTRA MUROS: Visite Genk ...
02 July 2014 - 31 August 2014.
Under the umbrella term Visite, the M HKA – in collaboration with LOCUS, the hub for libraries, cultural and community centres and local cult
Urgent Conversations Athe...
31 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition in the long overdue public unfolding of the Greek National Museum of
AMBERES – Roberto Bolaño’...
07 June 2019 - 15 September 2019.
AMBERES – Roberto Bolaño’s Antwerp An exhibition inspired by a novel, a city and a scene Artists include: Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Im
Ensembles View all
Collectie Vlaamse Gemeens...
The M HKA holds works on permanent loan that were acquired with the budget of the Vlaamse Commissie voor Beeldende Kunst (Flemish Visual Art
Since the end of May 2002, the M HKA has strayed from the beaten track of museum catalogues. The M HKA does not consider a systematic thereof