Marlene Dumas: An Introduction

Painting as a practice of pleasure. And the painting as an object of pleasure. Her hands dipped into paint, she does not need a brush – she uses her hands to paint. A purely physical pleasure of touch and gesture. The body pursues its own ideas. Historically painting was seen as female but, the males were the painters, and the females the models. Now the female (the daughter) takes the main role. She paints herself. The model becomes the artist. She creates herself. She is not there to please you. She pleases herself. The question is not “ Who is she”, but “ Who are you?” — Marlene Dumas, ‘ The Artist as a Painter’, 2007

Marlene Duma  is a South African artist who lives in the Netherlands

Bringing attention to history, Dumas interrogates contemporary issues of race and sexuality, identity, as well as broad human experience, such as violence and compassion. Her work is characterized by direct painting, often in dialogue with the history of photography and most often depicting people. Dumas draws images from journalistic photographs and historical photographs. While people are often a subject, she says that she doesn’t paint people, she paints images.



New York Times: Art Shapes a Civil Rights Debate in Russia

New York Magazine: Let’s Reconsider


There are a series of videos on the left menu of this page.

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