Marlene Dumas

Isabella Kacprzak

Marlene Dumas’ “written drawings” refer mainly to existential situations involving sex, death, love, the child, man, racism, fear, and woman as painter. This show is a turbulent journal exposing the artist’s most personal concerns. At the same time, Dumas also insists on the significance and justification of defending intimacy, and on the artist’s need for self-observation, exploration, and analysis of the psyche.

I am not looking at this exhibition as a whole. It’s the old story of how isolating a work of art increases its relevance, favoring a mild kind of terrorism, a humanist slant. It’s an irritating strategy, yes, but it’s meant to be, because it was just Dumas’ irritating qualities that kept driving me to follow this woman’s path. Her provocational strategy works because it’s not heavy-handed but thoughtful and bold, dealing directly with questions of how her work affects the public.

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