|Born||3 August 1953|
Cape Town, South Africa
|Awards||Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts (2011)|
Life and work
Dumas was born in 1953 in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up in Kuils River in the Western Cape, where her father had a vineyard. Dumas began painting in 1973 and showed her political concerns and reflections on her identity as a white woman of Afrikaans descent in South Africa. She studied art at the University of Cape Town from 1972 to 1975, and then at Ateliers '63 in Haarlem, which is now located in Amsterdam. She studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 1979 and 1980. She currently lives and works in the Netherlands and is one of the country's most prolific artists. She is also widely regarded as one of the most influential painters working today.
Dumas has also featured in some films, Miss Interpreted (1997), Alice Neel (2007), Kentridge and Dumas in Conversation (2009), The Future is Now! (2011), and Screwed (2017). Several books included illustrations by Dumas,- Marlene Dumas: Myths and Mortals, Venus and Adonis, David Zwirner: 25 Years, Marlene Dumas: Against the Wall, Marlene Dumas: Sweet Nothings, Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave, Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Violence.
Dumas often uses reference material of polaroid photographs of her friends and lovers, whilst she also references magazines and pornographic material. She also paints portraits of children and erotic scenes to impact the world of contemporary art. She has said that her works are better appreciated as originals since many of her smaller sexual works are very intimate. With many of her paintings she depicts her friends, models, and prominent political figures.
Dumas paintings are seen as portraits but they do not represent people but an emotional state that one could be in. Her art focuses on more serious issues and themes such as sexuality and race, guilt and innocence, violence and tenderness. Dumas style is more older Romanticism tradition. She uses loose brushstrokes to add distortion but also great detail to her art. Dumas likes to use a wet-on-wet technique, that combines thin layers of paint with thick ones. Her media of choice is oil on canvas and ink on paper. Her subjects range from new born babies, models, strippers, and many figures from popular culture.
The sale of Dumas's Jule-die Vrou (1985), positioned Dumas as one of three living female artists to trade for over $1 million.
Dumas taught at the Academie voor Beeldende Vorming (ABV) in Tilburg, Academie voor Kunst en Industrie (AKI) in Enschede, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, and De Ateliers in Amsterdam (Tutorials and Coaching).
Dumas was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp. She also holds degrees from the University of Cape Town, from Ateliers 63 in Haarlem and the Institute of Psychology, University of Amsterdam.
“Venus With Body of Adonis” (2015–16)
“Losing (Her Meaning)” (1988) Sold $1.5 million
"The Blindfolded" (2002)
"Feather Stola" (2000) Sold for $307,663 in 2003.
"Velvet and Lace (Schnabel Meets Baselitz)," (1999)
"Ryman's Brides" (1997)
“The Image as Burden” (1993)
"Young Boys," (1993) Sold for $993,600 in 2005.
"Black Drawings" (1991–92)
"Wet Dreams" (1987)
"The Teacher" (1987) Sold $3.34 million in 2005.
"Jule-die Vrou" (1985)
- Thérèse Van Duyl-Schwartze Prijs, Netherlands, 1989
- Sandbergprijs voor beeldende Kunst, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, 1989
- Gunther Fruhtrunk Preis, Akademieverein München, 1995
- David Roëll Prijs Voor Beeldende Kunst, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Amsterdam, 1998
- Coutts Contemporary Art Award 1998, Coutts Bank, Monte Carlo, 1998
- Kunstpreis Der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Art Prize), 2007
- Honorary Doctorate Faculty of Humanities, Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa, Rhodes University Grahamstown, 2010
- Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy Honoris Causa, University of Stellenbosch, 2011
- Rolf Schock Prize in the Visual Arts, Stockholm, 2011
- Honorary Degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town, 2012
- Johannes Vermeer Award 2012, Delft, 2012
- Honorary Doctorate, University of Antwerp, 2015
- Hans Theo-Richter Preis Für Zeichnung und Grafik 2017, Sächsischen Akademie der Künste, Dresden, 2017
2020 Marlene Dumas: 25 years of collaboration, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
2018 Myths and Mortals. David Zwirner Gallery, New York (cite: )
2014-2015 The Image as Burden. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Exhibition was named after her small 1993 painting depicting one figure carrying another.
2008 First South African exhibition. Intimate Relations, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
2003 Venice Biennale.
2001 Marlene Dumas: One Hundred Models and Endless Rejects, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
1997 First Asian exhibition Young Boys - Part II, Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo
1993 First United States museum exhibition Marlene Dumas, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
1992 First North American exhibition Insight, Axe-Néo-7, Hull Québec
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- Christopher Bagley (1 June 2008). Dutch Master. W. Accessed July 2018.
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- Selma Klein Essink, Marcel Vos and Jan Debbaut, Miss Interpreted, exhibition catalogue, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven 1992
- Jonathan Hutchinson, Chlorosis, exhibition catalogue, The Dougles Hyde Gallery, Dublin 1994
- Catherine Kinley, Marlene Dumas, exhibition broadsheet, Tate Gallery, London 1996
- Gianni Romano, Suspect, Skira, Milan, 2003
- Cornelia Butler, Marlene Dumas: painter as witness, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2008
- Ilaria Bonacossa, Dominic van den Boogerd, Barbara Bloom and Mariuccia Casadio, Marlene Dumas, Phaidon Press, London, 2009
- Neal Benezra and Olga M. Viso, Distemper: Dissonant Themes in the Art of the 1990s. Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. 1996
- Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave Exhibition at MoMA