ANTWERP.- Tim Van Laere Gallery
is presenting its first solo exhibition of Marcel Dzama entitled The Moon is Following Me. Including drawings, sculptures, dioramas and a film, this exhibition marks the artists first solo presentation in Belgium.
Marcel Dzama (°1974 Winnipeg, Canada. Lives and works in New York) has developed an immediately recognisable visual language that investigates human action and motivation, as well as the blurred relationship between the real and the subconscious. Drawing equally from folk vernacular as from art-historical and contemporary influences, Dzamas work visualises a universe of childhood fantasies and otherworldly fairy tales. Dzama's image repertoire includes a wide range of art-historical quotations. One can recognize ballet costumes by Oskar Schlemmer or Francis Picabia, for example, and direct references to Francisco de Goya, Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys. However, it's not just elements from the past that spur Dzama's creativity. The music enthusiast has collaborated with various colleagues from the beginning of his career, whether as part of the Royal Art Lodge in Winnipeg, which he co-founded, or in the form of collaborations with Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, Beck, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), the filmmaker Spike Jonze, the actress Amy Sedaris, the ensemble of the New York City Ballet, or fellow artists like Raymond Pettibon and Jockum Nordström. In his work Beuys love a girl who plays guitar he brings together the artist Joseph Beuys with the country-singer Dolly Parton.
For this exhibition he started a series of drawings with more hopeful themes, more serene. "Because the Trump years were so traumatizing. says Marcel Dzama. Also I usually either do political drawing or I go for this kind of vacation feeling. Almost idyllic. A lot of them are based on photographs taken of my son and wife on vacation. I am still playing with this. I also made a lot of drawings during the US elections, I needed to draw in order not to think too much about it. The beast is lost and beauty is found.,Calypso, It is my flesh that she wears, Here I stand in the land of praise and blame. There are a lot of sinister elements mixed with more serene themes. With his diorama The grandmasters hall of fame Dzama celebrates Bidens victory and the end of the Trump-era.
Chess is a recurring motif for the artist who finds inspiration in its intricate balance between improvisation and predetermination. While the game serves as an underlying theme in many of his drawings and dioramas, Dzamas film, entitled Dance Floor Dracula, Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, more directly centers on a whimsical chess game that takes the form of a ballet, featuring collaborators Amy Sedaris as Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon as David Zwirner. By using chess as a structural device, the artist makes reference to the early twentieth-century avant-garde artists Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, who employed the games special set of rules and moves in their work as metaphors for larger questions regarding free will, chance, and strategy. Integrating this artistic precedent with a subtle, more contemporary nod to the two-party political system in the United States, Dzamas works are simultaneously familiar and mysterious, humorous and intense, chaotic and orderly.
Work by the artist is held in museum collections worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Gallery, London. Dzama lives and works in New York.