Marlene Dumas / Edition 2

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Marlene Dumas's work is widely admired for its emotionally-charged portrayal of the human figure and its potent combination of drama, humor and sexuality. Born in South Africa in 1953 and based in Amsterdam, Dumas is a highly-skilled 'painter's painter'; her work comments on the state of painting today while asking what it means to be a woman working within the predominantly male genre of Expressionist art. Dumas's work is collected and exhibited internationally, and since the publication of the first edition of this book, her following has continued to grow. This revised edition, with a new essay by Ilaria Bonacossa and new writings by Dumas, has been expanded by 80 pages to include the artist's most recent work.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714845845
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/2009
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 970,314
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dominic van den Boogerd is a writer on contemporary art. From 1993 to 1995 he was Chief Editor of the Dutch art magazine Metropolis M and is currently Director of De Ateliers international artists? institute in Amsterdam. Barbara Bloom is a New York-based artist whose international exhibitions include the Venice Biennale (1988), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998), the International Center of Photography, New York (2006) and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2006). Mariuccia Casadio is a freelance writer on contemporary art, fashion and design. Formerly Editor of Vogue Italia (1986–90) and Editor-at-Large of Interview (1990–93), Ilaria Bonacossa is Curator at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy and a regular contributor to art magazines such as Flash Art and Contemporary.

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  • Posted August 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One of the Finest Monographs of Marlene Dumas

    Marlene Dumas is one of those artists that seems to touch everyone who visits her art in a profound way. Though her paintings are deceptively simple in execution, they are so filled with emotional energy and ideas and statements about the world in which we live that she simply cannot be ignored. Divided into six well written sections we are allowed a survey of her place in art today, an overview of her iconic images, interviews with the artist and sections on the artist's choices in the writings of others (Oscar Wilde and Jean Genet) and her own writings about the state of art today and her own art. But these essays and written contributions, important and informative though they are, do not begin to match the impact of slowly leafing through this book of hundreds of images produced in exacting color.

    'What does death have to do with sex? Youth with terrorism? Immigration with desire and mourning? ' These questions supply fodder for her paintings that explore these areas in depth. Many of Dumas' painting are head portraits that immediately jump into the viewer's psyche and hold on forever. Still others are of figures, female and male, exploring their own sexuality, seemingly for us, the viewer, to understand: '10 inch' and 'D-rection' are powerful images of male nudes, while 'Fingers', '(Like a) Chambermaid', 'Morning Dew', and 'Turkish Girl' are equally striking female nudes. There are images of the dead as in 'Likeness 1' and 'Likeness 2', but there are also images of groups of people as in the terrifying 'Young Boys' or the wryly humorous 'We Were All in Love with the Cyclops' and 'Ryman's Brides'.

    The book closes with a fine piece of writing by Ilaria Bonacossa: "Thus Dumas's works are constructed around desire that exists only once it is articulated, so that painting itself becomes something of a Lacanian attempt to provide, even if only for a moment, the representation of the lack born from the impossibility of satisfying desire. Just as an image 'takes on meaning through the process of looking', Dumas's work embodies the tension between imagination and reality, as well as the struggle between the eye and the hand - and between the eye and the 'I'." This is a superb book that allows us to truly investigate the reasons why Marlene Dumas has become on of the world's most important artists.

    Grady Harp

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