Marcel Dzama

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Marcel Dzama
Marcel Dzama by Spike Jonze.jpg
Marcel Dzama on set of a Spike Jonze film in 2010.
Born 1974
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Known for Contemporary art

Marcel Dzama (born 1974) is a contemporary artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who currently lives and works in New York.[1] His work has been exhibited internationally, in particular his ink and watercolor drawings. He is represented by David Zwirner Gallery in New York and London.[2]

Range of practice[edit]

Dzama works extensively in sculpture, painting, collage, and film. The artist is also known[citation needed] for his intricate dioramas and large scale polyptychs that draw from his talents across a range of media. Dzama works in multiple disciplines to bring his cast of human figures, animals, and imaginary hybrids to life, and has developed an international reputation and following[citation needed] for his art that depicts fanciful, anachronistic worlds. The artist is also known for his work with The Royal Art Lodge.[3]

Dzama's work has been used on the covers of a number of record albums, notably The Else by They Might Be Giants, Guero by Beck and Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans. His costume designs can also be seen in music videos for both the Bob Dylan song "When the Deal Goes Down", the N.A.S.A. song "The People Tree" and the Department of Eagles song "No One Does It Like You", which he also co-directed. McSweeney's has published two collections of his work, The Berlin Years in 2003 (reprinted in 2006) and a follow-up, The Berliner Ensemble Thanks You All, in 2008.

Dzama received his BFA from the University of Manitoba.

Dzama Stories is a piece of music inspired by Marcel Dzama by composer Ed Bennett. It is music for amplified ensemble, electronics and improviser featuring Decibel and Paul Dunmall.


Dzama has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada (2010) and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2008). In 2006, he had an exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England, which traveled to the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, Scotland.[4]

Marcel Dzama cites Marcel Duchamp as one of his greatest inspirations and has drawn on the artist’s near-obsession with chess as a starting point for his video A Game of Chess, 2011, in which life-size Kings, Queens, Rooks and pawns duel for supremacy in a production brought to life in Guadalajara, Mexico. This film is currently[when?] featured at the National Gallery of Canada.[5]

Over the past decade,[when?] his work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including “Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection” at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009); “Moby Dick” at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009); “Sobey Art Award Short List” at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (2009); "Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities" at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); "In Me / Out of Me" at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and Kunst-Werke, Berlin, Germany (2007). In 2006, he was included in the Whitney Biennial exhibition, “Down By Law: Day for Night” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In the late 1990s, Dzama participated in the group exhibitions “Greetings from Winnipeg” at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Minneapolis and “Contemporary American Realist Drawings, the Jalane and Richard Davidson Collection” at The Art Institute of Chicago (both 1999).


Dzama's work is in the collections of major museums and public institutions, including the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York, New York; the Bass Museum of Art, Miami, Florida; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, North Miami, Florida; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and The Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island. Collectors of his work include Spike Jonze, Francios Pinault, Bennett Miller, Kevin Hearn,[6] Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey,[7] Leonard Nimoy,[8] Viggo Mortensen, Gus Van Sant and Steve Martin.


External links[edit]