'Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden' at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Exhibitions / Amsterdam
06 September 2014 - 04 January 2015, Daily 10am-6pm; Thurs until 10pm

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ
+31 (0)20 573 2911
€: 15 (museum entrance)

The Stedelijk Museum kicks-off the fall cultural season with a major retrospective in Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden.

Marlene Dumas & visual culture

One of the most influential and highly regarded painters working today, Marlene Dumas is a genuine international art superstar and deservedly so. 

Born in South Africa, but living and working in Amsterdam since 1976, her oeuvre is marked as an emotional investigation of the relationship between the body, visual representation and its psychological impact.

Working largely with oil and canvas, Dumas has done something truly profound in the face of digitalisation.

Oozing with emotion, her work highlights the relevance of the traditional canvas as artistic medium while creating images that expose conventions, hypocrisies and discriminatory effects of visual hegemony relating to notions of class, race, sexuality and identity.

Drawing from newspapers, magazines and other forms of mass visual culture, Dumas brings to light the devastating effects that such proliferation of imagery can have on society and one's political, religious and personal beliefs.

Recent pieces that have helped to make Dumas a household name include her portrait of Mohammed B., the man who killed Theo van Gogh, and her striking portrait of Osama Bin Laden.

Her deep understanding of the individual's relationship to a mass-media that is increasingly layered with visual connotations make her works all that more powerful. 

marlene dumas stedelijk
Marlene Dumas, The Kiss, 2003

marlene dumas stedelijk amsterdam
Marlene Dumas, The Wall, 2009
Thumb: Marlene Dumas, The Image as Burden, 1993
All photos of works by Peter Cox

marlene dumas stedelijk
Marlene Dumas, Moshekwa, 2006
Photo by Peter Cox

The Image as Burden at Stedelijk

The exhibition at the Stedelijk will be the largest European retrospective of Dumas' work. Featuring both iconic and never before seen pieces, the show is an overview of her prestigious career through more than 100 drawings and paintings.

Curated by Leontine Coelewij, special attention is given to the early works Dumas produced in the Netherlands where formative themes and techniques are evident of what would eventually become her signature style. 

Covering more than 1.000 square meters, the exhibition can also be viewed as a testament to the long standing relationship between the Stedelijk Museum and Dumas.

First exhibiting her work in 1978, the museum has since acquired more than 39 drawings or paintings by Dumas. 

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