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Marlene Dumas

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Marlene Dumas (born 1953) is a South African artist and painter.

Dumas was born in 1953 in Cape Town, South Africa[4], and grew up in Kuils River in the Western Cape, where her father had a vineyard.[5][1] She studied art at the University of Cape Town from 1972 to 1975, and then at Ateliers ’63 in Haarlem, in North Holland in the Netherlands. She studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 1979–1980.[3]

She often uses reference material of polaroid photographs of her friends and lovers, whilst she also references magazines and pornographic material. Marlene Dumas also paints portraits of children and erotic scenes to impact the world of contemporary art. She has said that her works are better appreciated as originals since many of her smaller sexual works are very intimate.[6]

Dumas paintings are seen as portraits but they do not represent people but an emotional state that one could be in. Her art focuses on more serious issues and themes such as sexuality and race, guilt and innocence, violence and tenderness.[7] Dumas style is more older romanticism tradition. She uses loose brushstrokes to add distortion but also great detail to her art. [8]

Her first major American museum exhibition, a midcareer retrospective entitled “Measuring Your Own Grave”, opened in June 2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and moved to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The sale of Dumas’s Jule-die Vrou (1985), positioned Dumas as one of three living female artists to trade for over $1 million.[9]

Dumas’s paintings were exhibited at the 2003 Venice Biennale.[10]

An exhibition of Dumas’s paintings entitled ‘The Image as Burden’ was exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Holland from 6 September 2014- 4 January 2015.

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