Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden


Marlene Dumas: Magdalena 1, 1996 © Marlene Dumas

Exhibition, Tate Modern, London, UK, 5 February – 10 May.
Marlene Dumas is one of the most prominent painters working today. Her intense, psychologically- charged works explore themes of sexuality, love, death and shame, often referencing art history, popular culture, and current affairs. She never paints directly from life, yet life in all its complexity is right there on the canvas, with her subjects drawn from both public and personal references. The results are often intimate and at times controversial, as politics become erotic and portraits become political. She plays with the imagination of her viewers, their preconceptions and fears. In an age dominated by the digital image and mass media, Dumas cherishes the physicality of the human touch with work that is a testament to the meaning and potency of painting.