The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, October 23, 2014


David Zwirner Presents First Exhibition by Marlene Dumas with the Gallery
Marlene Dumas, Figure in a Landscape, 2010. Oil on linen, 70 7/8 x 118 1/8 x 1 inches, 180 x 300 x 2.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York.
NEW YORK, NY.- David Zwirner presents the first solo exhibition by Marlene Dumas since the artist joined the gallery in 2008. Against the Wall features all new works from 2009 and 2010. This marks the first time since 2001 that the artist has presented a new body of work in New York.

Known for her unique approach to canvas and her thought-provoking subject matter, Marlene Dumas is widely considered one of today’s most important painters. Her work is characterized by a sensual and gestural technique that is also swift, dry, and minimal, as if under pressure to leave only what is necessary. While she lives and works in The Netherlands, the artist was born and raised in South Africa, and her paintings have often drawn from her own experiences of living with apartheid. For over thirty years, Dumas has merged political discourse, personal experience, and art historical references in a richly layered body of work. Her paintings integrate complex themes—ranging from segregation, eroticism, or, more generally, the politics of love and war—to explore how image-making is implicitly involved not only in the cultural processes of objectification, but also in the way in which events are documented and collectively understood.

Dumas’s practice is often based upon the translation of found imagery and explores the tension between the photographic documentation of reality and the constructed, imaginary space of painting. The works in this exhibition have evolved primarily from media imagery and newspaper clippings documenting Israel and Palestine. However, Dumas’s representations acknowledge universal themes of instability, isolation, and the lack of communication, while moreover addressing the medium of painting as such. The titles of these works (among them Under Construction; Mindblocks; The Wall) not only describe the motifs depicted, but also refer to the artist’s struggle with the boundaries of her chosen medium: as she herself has noted, “A painting needs a wall to object to.”

Dumas’s paintings often display a kind of ambiguity of meaning, employing visual “traps” to show how the mind is quick to assume what is being presented in a given image. Her latest works explore the (in)famous walls of this unstable region of the Middle East. The large-scale canvas, The Wall, at first appears to present a scene at the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall), an important site of religious pilgrimage located in the Old City of Jerusalem. However, Dumas’s painting is in fact based upon a photograph from a newspaper that portrayed a group of Orthodox Jews on their way to pray at Rachel’s Tomb. The men are shown against the backdrop of an Israeli security fence outside of Bethlehem.

This ambiguity is further examined in two related paintings, Wall Weeping and Wall Wailing. While the figures in the former canvas appear to have their arms raised, perhaps, in prayer, the latter painting reveals that they are raised so that armed soldiers can search their bodies. In the same manner, the concrete obstacles found at security checkpoints and roadblocks confront the viewer as conceptual Mindblocks in a canvas that fluidly merges abstraction and figuration.

Child Waving shows the vulnerability of youth, while presenting a state of tension in which innocent human gestures become suspicious and threatening. Living on your Knees depicts a kneeling figure whose pose remains undefined: is the man humbled in the act of prayer or subject to an act of humiliation? A woman mourns for her son in The Mother, yet the canvas makes the dead (shown in a framed portrait) seem more alive than the living. Man Watching shows a soldier with his back to us; but what is he watching?

In a sense, many of the works in the exhibition could almost be considered landscape, or “territory paintings,” as Dumas has described them. She states in the catalogue that accompanies this exhibition, “For once it is not zoomed-in, vertical frontal heads and naked figures that take the main stage, but a man-made architectural structure in a more perspectival narrative space…It leads us not into a holy land, but rather to a barren no-man’s land.”

While the paintings in Against the Wall comprise a critique of what is sometimes referred to by opponents of the West Bank barrier as the “apartheid wall,” they ultimately lament the failure of co-existence and the tragic human condition of segregation. The stance taken by Dumas, however, is not one of overt oppositional criticism, but one that acknowledges the artist as an accomplice (among this body of work is a self-portrait titled The Sleep of Reason) and which implicates painting in the construction of collective memory.

New York | David Zwirner | Marlene Dumas |




Today's News

March 18, 2010

Christie's to Offer Andrew Lloyd Webber's Picasso Masterpiece from His Blue Period

Gagosian Opens Exhibition of Recent Paintings by Alberto Di Fabio

David Zwirner Presents First Exhibition by Marlene Dumas with the Gallery

Director Paul Schrader Donates Collection to Harry Ransom Center

Trustees of the Reina Sofia Museum Agree Not to Move Picasso's Guernica

Paintings by Lawrence and Park Enter Museums of San Francisco Collection

Christie's Brings in the Bids as Art Market Shows Signs of Life

Auction of the World's Largest Collection of Original Vintage Glamour Photography

Property from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Z. Wick to Highlight March Auction

Dutch Police Arrest 2 Suspects Involved in 2009 Art Heist

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Opens Third Alex Couwenberg Exhibition

Reagan 'GE Theater' Tapes Restored, Go to Presidential Library

Pierre Huyghe's La saison des fetes at Museo Reina Sofia

Rotation at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Features Seminal Chinese Painting

Delaware Art Museum Presents on Assignment: American Illustration, 1850-1950

Powerful Images of Contemporary Icons by Mark Evans at Scream Gallery

FBI in Florida Recovers Stolen Painting by Juan Gris

Random House Publisher Services to Handle Sales and Distribution for Smithsonian Books

South Carolina Museum Rejects Monument to Mark Secession

Auctioneer Plans $15 Million Emerging Nations Sale

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



Invisible Exports announces the New York solo debut of work and objects by Bob Mizer

Six weeks after, New York City artists seek help to scrub away superstorm Sandy's stains

Just discovered Scharl Portrait of Einstein up for sale for first time

New York State Museum exhibits historic images from Burns archives

La Dolce Vita: 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties at Eataly New York

The Art of Playboy, Gil Elvgren, Golden Age greats headline Fall New York illustration art auction

Costa Rica reclaims artifacts from the prestigious Brooklyn Museum in New York

Doyle New York to auction the Arthur Rothstein photograph collection in October

New study identifies pine bush as "Stop Over" for migrating birds

Chinese Gilt-Bronze Bell achieves $482,500 at Doyle New York's Asian works of art sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site