Dumas, Marlene (1953 –
Marlene Dumas is a South African-born, Amsterdam-based painter, and one of The Netherlands’ most
internationally admired artists. Dumas recalls in her work the painterly gestures of Expressionism, while
combining the critical distance of Conceptual art with eroticism. Through her delicately painted oil-on-canvas or
ink-and-watercolour works on the female form as well as portraits and erotic scenes, she comments on the state
of the painting today.
The artist depicts women, their expressions, their body and facial typologies, their self-image and their ideals.
The relationship between art and female beauty or between art historical models and twentieth-century
supermodels, are constant themes in her work. Dumas does not paint from life but deliberately chooses “stock”
images from a variety of sources, from magazine cuttings to picture postcards to Old Master paintings, as re-
observed through her contemporary perspective. Since the late 1970’s she has exhibited internationally with solo
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