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Friday, December 12, 2008

Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas
Genetiese Heimwee (Genetic Longing), 1984

Marlene Dumas, Measuring Your Own Grave, at Museum of Modern Art. See my flickr set for more photos.


Losing (Her Meaning), 1988

Marlene Dumas
The Binding Factor, 1990, ink and crayon on paper

Girl with Head, 1992

Give the People What They Want, 1992

The Secret, 1994 and The Cover-Up, 1994

Marlene Dumas
detail

Marlene Dumas
detail

Suspect, 1999

Stern, 2004

Marlene Dumas
detail

Jen, 2005

The Blindfolded Man, 2007

Marlene Dumas
detail

REVIEWS:

24 comments:

zipthwung said...

It's like mary cassatt for the gothtards.

kelli said...

I just realized disliking her ( as opposed to being neutral) is like disliking heavy metal. Now it's OK to hate disco (or Ashley Bickerton) or electronica (or Elizabeth Peyton) or drum and bass (or Carroll Dunham) but it really says something about the disliker to dislike either Dumas or heavy metal. It means you are laughing in the face of raw sincerity and mocking the person who tries to make something epic and doesn't always hit the mark.

zipthwung said...

I keep my bible in a pool of blood so none of it's lies can affect me.

I wonder if Marlene does too.

Certainly that's not the CD they sell at the counter?

zipthwung said...

it is... is its wants it my precious.

Martin said...

"mary cassat for gothtards"... haha.

it wasn't until selecting images to post here that i realized how goth/metal it is... the smith review talked a lot about subject... i did not pay to much attention to subject/theme at the show... i was just thinking she is a really good painter.

immediately after this i saw two nearby painting shows of artists i enjoy and it was no contest.

Anonymous said...

How will Marlene deal with all the criticism?

vc said...

forgive my thickness; no contest for whom?

Martin said...

i saw alexi worth at dc moore and sue coe at st. etienne, but i kept thinking about the dumas paintings.

it was weird seeing the alexi worth right after... because of the commonalities and differences. he's also painting the figure, there isn't much "background" stuff happening, the palette is muted, they are both painters concerned or involved with the relationship to photography... but the painting is totally different. dumas is so visceral.

Nomi Lubin said...

Whoa. Is this to make up for your low brow paparazzi?

zipthwung said...

I dunno, Dumas has some nice flow/controll/looseness - but you can achieve that with a littlr patience - I once saw some abstract watercoor stuff at the old Bellevue Art Museum (in the Bellevue, Washington Mall) They used dry pigment to absorb the water and create spots, and a spray bottle to spray pigment, and I think they ragged stuff off with a sponge like Mark Tansey does with tinfoil on oil paint - it's no different than using a palette knife like Bob Ross (who is heavy handed but facile).

The more art I see the less impressed I am with such effects.

Dumas uses a central figure, close croped (her composition is that of photographic snapshots - which she is criticized for, as are a host of other, mostly younger artists)

I can;t give her credit for composition.

Basicly, I think she;s overrated (not her crime is it? Or does she lord it over lesser mortals?)

I was blown away by a slice today - I was hungry - I like thinking about which slice in brooklyn has the better cheese - TOny on Graham Ave is pretty good.

And she;s conservative. Safe, even.

Unless there are some pictures in the back that I haven;t seen.

DarthFan said...

ida applebroog

comparison is good (R.S.?) i forget, but I know IA boogs me because it seems like she doesn;t know how to draw the figure, though thats more of my hangup - though also, cartoons are easy, and thus more common - I;m not impressed with simplified forms - Late dekooning, Guston, Morandi;s bottles. Im over it. Give me the raft of the medusa, give me virtuoso command performances, give me unresoved resolution, give me everything in one painting, like a sloppy pesto garlic ricotta slice. Give me something I cant eat without a fork.

Martin said...

i saw an ida applebroog today at ronald feldman (good works on paper show) and was thinking about that RS comparison to dumas... dumas is a way better painter, at least in comparison to that single applebroog.

DarthFan said...

my bet is you could make a sweeping generalization that yo are right.

People need to paint a lot+paint without being precious (liiting rules- like everything needs to be resolved (kostabi) or unresolved (anyone with a drip))

Basicly, stop making work to sell - though I;m the first to realize this is a psychological mind fuck.

Anonymous said...

"(liiting rules- like everything needs to be resolved (kostabi)"

What does this mean?

Hans said...

Disliking it, but anyway great works !

DarthFan said...

limiting rules maybe I forget - also, liking rules - works both ways. - I was thinking about Kostabi, who recently wrote he keeps "unresolved" paintings in a warehouse NJ. He finds them valuable, I guess.

He could learn something from the hightimes/hard times artists - though I don't know if his brain could take the cognitive dissonance.

Is switching styles in a painting a cop out (failure to resolve=70$ ticket) or a more interesting problem (postmodernism or "late modernism" might function as an adolescent way of never committing to anything - so that even work with a style but lack of apparent skill could be included in a psychological territory with someone who makes forgeries as art, ironic nods to album covers, art that looks great in reproduction but dissolves on actual contact, pen and ink marginalia for magazines and collections of small gestural or cartoony paintings arranged together)

These are all tropes - forms or motifs in a larger genre I'm thinking of - of which a degree of self effacement (false modesty at least) lack of heroic committment, nods to ephemerality (if also properly framed) the simple gesture.

Funk art, for example - is a label.

Conversely, the high times hard times artists were pretty committed to some rules of their own (high funk art) - looks a bit like a belief in the linear chain of progress through modernism - of which Greenbergism is part of , though I'm sure many would say they are going anti-establishment East for their inspiration - far east or near east, but farther than san fran, and definitely farther than the midwest (where this kind of candy raver infantilism started?).

But see, then you have japanese Anime for adults, which might go nicely with Kostabi if he ever got his head out of his ass.

DarthFan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think Kostabi has already trademaked head in ass and collects rectal royalties.

Martin said...

hey peter schjeldahl changed his mind about dumas!

zipthwung said...

kostabi is a flavor of baloon dog. All twist and no emotion.

Barbara said...

I'm flip flopping on Dumas. Thanks to you I went to see the show after you raved about her at Fred Gutzeit's event at Pocket Utopia. I was very moved the first time, then went back again after seeing your blog picts and strangely your photos seem more weighty and poignant.

Anonymous said...

saw the dumas show, it was GREAT!!!!! charley finch is a moron who knows nothing about art, had marlene dumas been a young sexy babe, charley would like it. the paintings were so skilled, the works on paper even more so. i especially loved the ink drawings on the 6th floor, very effective and very hard to pull off.

zipthwung said...

I asked her if she saw a difference between European figurative painting and its young New York cousins, exemplified by artists like Elizabeth Peyton, with her dreamy, jewel-like portraits of rocks stars and friends. “For me, that is not cruel enough,” Dumas said. “I like it a bit crueler. Francis Bacon once said that is why he went for figuration against abstraction — he didn’t like Pollock as much because he said abstraction couldn’t be cruel enough for him. I did get things from Francis Bacon — the fact of the figure in an abstract background. It is a figure, but where is the figure?”

Deborah Solomon June 2008 here


Many works remind you that authenticity and integrity can often matter as much as invention, or, put more cruelly, that all artists have a few really good moments. Sometimes it takes little more than touch or some quality of personality to lend conviction to an idea that’s in the air.

Roberta Smith 2008 here

The Theatre of Cruelty is a concept in Antonin Artaud's book The Theatre and its Double. “Without an element of cruelty at the root of every spectacle, the theater is not possible. In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds” (Artaud, The Theatre and its Double). By cruelty, he meant not sadism or causing pain, but rather a violent, physical determination to shatter the false reality which, he said, "lies like a shroud over our perceptions."

Wikipedia of course.

I had another recent "to put it cruelly" quote but it escapes me. Maybe from a magazine.

I keep my bible in a pool of blood so none of it's lies can affect me.

zipthwung said...

"Cruel to be kind" of course, but there are a few more.