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Marlene Dumas, Naomi, 1995, oil on canvas, 51 1/8 × 43 1/4".

Amsterdam

“Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden”

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
September 6 - January 4

Curated by Leontine Coelewij, Kerryn Greenberg, and Theodora Vischer

In the small watercolor from which this exhibition takes its title, a man carries the slumped, expired muse of painting in his arms. The work, dated 1993, is typical of Dumas’s oeuvre—the allegorizing of her medium as some pointed female type. And now, from limp heroine to painted prostitute, more than one hundred pieces will compose the most extensive European retrospective of the South African–born artist’s career. Many of these works probe the gravity of representation, construed not only as the weight of history or the ethical charge of the image but also, as the titular rendering wittily implies, as the pictures carried by newspapers, film, and the media that this presentation highlights as the source of Dumas’s “secondhand images.” A catalogue edited by the curators, organized chronologically and anthologizing dozens of texts on the painter’s work, accompanies the show. Travels to Tate Modern, London, Feb. 4–May 10, 2015; Fondation Beyeler, Basel, May 30–Sept. 13, 2015.