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.
*Marlene Dumas, For Whom the Bell Tolls, 2008, Öl auf Leinwand, 100 x 90 cm, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, © Marlene Dumas, Foto: Peter Cox, © 2015, ProLitteris, Zürich
This exhibition celebrates the historic moment in the history of modern art when Kazimir Malevich debuted his new non-objective paintings under the banner of Suprematism and Vladimir Tatlin introduced his revolutionary counter-relief sculptures. They were bitter rivals and diametrically opposed in their creative thinking, so when their new works appeared in an exhibition, entitled 0,10 and organized by fellow artist Ivan Puni in St. Petersburg in 1915, the other 12 artists in the show chose sides. The presentation at the Fondation Beyeler will include most of the works from the original exhibition, many of which are leaving Russia for the first time.
It was at the 0,10 exhibition that Kazimir Malevich presented his Black Square for the first time. The painting, which caused a great stir in its day, enduringly shaped the definition of non-objective art and continues to exert a powerful influence upon many artists today.