Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden

Marlene Dumas ,Evil is Banal 1984, Collection Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands © Marlene Dumas, Photo credit: Peter Cox, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Marlene Dumas is one of the most prominent painters of her generation. Tate Modern’s large-scale survey is the most significant exhibition of her work ever to be held in Europe, charting her career from the early 1970s to the present. The exhibition offers a compelling overview of her work, exploring the physical and psychological reality of human existence and the importance of the painted image. The show brings together over 100 of her most important and iconic paintings and drawings, her experimental collaged works and her most recent canvases.

Dumas’s intense, psychologically-charged imagery often references art history, popular culture and current affairs. Her approach to making art combines the personal with the public, painting those closest to her – such as her daughter in Helena’s Dream 2008 – alongside images of such famous and infamous faces as Amy Winehouse, Princess Diana, Osama bin Laden and Phil Spector. She is unafraid to address controversial subjects, from a colonial war for independence in The Woman of Algiers 2001 to a political assassination in The Widow 2013, as well as themes derived from newspaper articles, religious imagery, the adult entertainment industry and the artist’s imagination. Simultaneously drawing upon the world around her and her own experiences, Dumas reflects on contemporary anxieties about love and death, gender and sexuality, and mass media and celebrity.



The exhibition’s title is derived from Dumas’s The Image as Burden 1993, a small painting depicting one figure carrying another. The composition was inspired by a film still of Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor, but also brings to mind art historical images of Mary contemplating the dead body of Jesus. Dumas draws a connection between the subject of the painting, and the painter who carries the weight of her subject. Her interest lies in the impact that the act of painting has on the image, rather than that of the image on the painting. In an era dominated by the proliferation of images, Dumas’s work can be seen as a testament to the meaning and potency of painting.


瑪琳·杜馬斯,20世紀末最傑出的女性藝術家之一。她的作品充滿了對人類生存現狀的思考,不論是生理還是心理;與此同時對圖像的描繪也是她創作中很重要的環節。 2015年倫敦泰特現代美術館為她量身定製了一個大型個展,名為《成為負擔的圖像》,是對上世紀70年代初期至今的整體藝術生涯的回顧。展覽展出了百餘件杜馬斯最具代表性作品,當中包括繪畫、素描、實驗性的拼貼和最近的油畫。

杜馬斯經常將藝術史、流行文化和時事政治等話題繪製成充滿張力,情緒化的藝術作品。繪畫對像有自己最親密的人,她的女兒《海倫娜的夢境(Helena’s Dream, 2008)》;也搜羅並重現了許多著名也有臭名昭著的大眾圖像如艾米·懷恩豪斯(Amy Winehouse)、戴安娜王妃(Princess Diana)、本·拉登(Osama bin Laden)和菲爾·史貝克特(Phil Spector)。杜馬斯並不避諱爭議性的話題,例如爭取獨立的殖民戰爭作品《阿爾及爾的女子(The Woman of Algiers, 2001)》,還有關於政治暗殺的作品《寡婦(The Widow, 2013)》;她也會從新聞報紙、宗教隱喻、色情產業和藝術家幻想中找尋主題,再結合周遭世界與親身經歷,杜馬斯探討了當下社會對於愛情和死亡、性別和性、大眾媒體和名人文化的焦慮。

展覽名稱來自杜馬斯的同名作品《成為負擔的圖像(The Image as Burden,1993)》,這幅小畫作描繪了懷抱女子的男子。當時她受葛麗泰·嘉寶(Greta Garbo)和羅伯特·泰勒(Robert Taylor)的電影劇照啟發,同時作品也令人想起聖母凝視耶穌遺體的畫面。杜馬斯將作品的中心人物與畫家本身相聯繫,她的興趣在於探討繪畫對圖像影響,而不是圖像對繪畫的影響。在這個圖像氾濫的時代,杜馬斯的作品正是一個寫照——繪畫語言所具備的重大意義與無限潛能。

Tips 小貼士

展覽場地:Tate Modern 泰特現代美術館
展覽時間:05.02.2015 – 10.05.2015


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