Marlene Dumas (b. 1953, Cape Town, SA, lives in Amsterdam) certainly ranks among the leading painters and artists of our time. In her work she focuses heavily on the human figure. In single and group portraits, Dumas addresses current as well as timeless topics we are all familiar with such as love, death, identity and mourning, making reference to both present-day issues and themes of art history. She draws on an extensive pictorial archive containing private Polaroid prints, media images, pictures from magazines, as well as film stills as a source for her fascinating, at times disturbing yet always deeply moving paintings.
The exhibition «The Image as Burden» at Fondation Beyeler was planned and designed in close collaboration with Marlene Dumas and realized together with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Tate Modern London. Sticking to a basic chronological order, the show traces her development as an artist. On display is a selection of over a hundred paintings and drawings, including several rarely shown collages from her early work and a few very recent paintings. Thus the show provides a comprehensive overview of the artist’s oeuvre from the mid-1970s to the present.
Marlene Dumas grew up in South Africa and studied at the University of Cape Town before leaving South Africa in 1976 and traveling to Amsterdam where she still lives today. In 1979 she had her first solo exhibition in a small gallery in Paris. Since then her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions. In 1992 she was invited to participate in Documenta IX in Kassel and in 1995 she featured prominently at the Venice Biennale. Over the last few years her work has been presented in major shows in Europe, the USA, Asia and Japan. Her works are also held in private collections and major art museums across the world, including the MoMA, New York, the Tate Modern, London, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich.
The exhibition is generously supported by: AMERICAN FRIENDS OF FONDATION BEYELERBAYER HEALTHCARE BASEL
Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Thomas Koerfer, Mondriaan Fund, Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer