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Drawings & Notes

26 May 2018
Marlene Dumas | Adonis frowns, 2015-2016 | Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper, 24.1 x 17.1 cm

Marlene Dumas

Adonis frowns, 2015-2016
Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper
24.1 x 17.1 cm

Marlene Dumas. Myths & Mortals
28 april – 30 June 2018
David Zwirner, New York

Marlene Dumas

The goddess Venus, 2015-2016
Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper
31.8 x 27.6 cm

[from the pressrelease]
Dumas is widely regarded as one of the most influential painters working today. Over the past four decades, she has continuously probed the complexities of identity and representation in her work. Her paintings and drawings are often culled from a vast archive of images collected by the artist, including art-historical materials, mass media sources, and personal snapshots of friends and family. Gestural, fluid, and frequently spectral, Dumas’s works reframe and recontextualize her subjects, exploring the ambiguous and shifting boundaries between public and private selves.

Displayed both framed and in a vitrine, Dumas’s thirty-three works on paper narrate Shakespeare’s story of Venus and Adonis, which drew on Ovid’s mythological poem The Metamorphoses. Adonis, renowned for his otherworldly beauty, spurns Venus’s love for him, choosing instead the thrill of the hunt. Recklessly ignoring Venus’s warnings, Adonis is ultimately slain by a wild boar, with his spilled blood lending its color to the bloom of the anemone (as depicted in The flower, 2015–2016). In these works—alternately delicate and aggressive, tranquil and frenzied—the artist captures the polarity of a star-crossed union of opposites, arguing, like Venus, for the embrace of desire in the face of war.

Encompassing a diverse array of scales, styles, and subjects, Dumas’s new works respond more than ever to the uncertainty and sensuality of the painting process itself. Allowing the structure of the canvases and the materiality of the paint greater freedom to inform the development of her compositions, the artist has likened the creation of these works to the act of falling in love: an unpredictable and open-ended process that is as filled with awkwardness and anxiety as it is with bliss and discovery.

Marlene Dumas

The owl, 2015-2016
Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper
17.5 x 14.6 cm

Marlene Dumas

Venus in bliss, 2015-2016
Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper
26 x 22.9 cm

6 September 2014

Marlene Dumas

Magdalena 1, 1996
ink on paper
125 x 70 cm

Marlene Dumas. The Image as Burden
Stedelijk Museum [6 September 2014 – 3 January 2015]
Tate Modern, London [5 February to 10 May 2015]

14 December 2009

Marlene Dumas

Models, 1994
ink wash, crayon on paper
62 x 50 cm (100x)

Marlene Dumas. Measuring Your Own Grave
14 December 2008–16 February 2009
MoMa, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Marlene Dumas
Moshekwa, 2006
Oil on canvas
130 × 100 cm

Marlene Dumas
Models, 1994
ink wash, crayon on paper
62 x 50 cm (100x)

Marlene Dumas
Models, 1994
ink wash, crayon on paper
62 x 50 cm (100x)

A weblog about contemporary drawing, scribbles, notes and an occasional painting or photograph. Click on images to go directly to original pictures, or on the links to learn more about the artist involved. 

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Drawings & Notes Weblog has been researching contemporary drawing since 2008. We recently left our old spot and moved here. Our old home will stay online, but will not be updated. Over the next period we will constantly update the archives here.