vendredi 20 mars 2015

Marlene DUMAS : "The Image as Burden".

Marlene Dumas at The Tate Gallery. ©FDM, 2015.

Born in Cape Town (South Africa) in 1953 and living now (since many years) in Amsterdam, Marlene Dumas is (as many of us) haunted by the images of the world. Quite particularly by the photos of current events or news items, which she archives and lists (classifies) like a visual reservoir that she can liven up all the time and transmute in pictures.

The exhibition of Tate wears symbolically the title of a work which dates 1993 : " The Image as Burden ". - We are confronted with a chaotic and powerful world. Fact of elegance and primitivity. Sensual and reflexive. Soft and violent. Terrible also. Haunted by the death, the violence and (in a more recent way) by the pornographic representation of the human body.

These images are the ones of faces and body from which the pulp would be extracted of the outline of silhouettes and lines (of the model). This carnal and pictorial pulp is then conveyed as on the medium of the board (ink, oil).

These bodies, these faces are black, white, yellowish brown. Ochre, mauve, brown. - Painted or drawn by means of an often restricted pallet which dilutes or thickens outlines.

Africa is omnipresent. Black flesh invades paintings. And see each other confronted with faces and with white bodies. Following the example of her country of origin - and as the main part of its pictorial pallet - Marlene Dumas's world is dual : white and black. And involved, indexed in a mixture, a mixing which generates luxurious portraits.

The common importance of the representation and the distortion of figures is similar to the universe of the expressionistic painting. And to the world which was the one of Francis Bacon. - Her pallet, however, is appropriate for her. As belongs to her the heavy black or yellowish brown line which draws mouths, silhouettes, thighs, profiles. So multiplying icons and totems.

"Marlene Dumas. The Image as Burden"
Tate Modern, London. February-May 2015.

The Image as Burden, 1993, ©Marlene Dumas
Private collection, Belgium.

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