|On show: Marlene Dumas' The Image as Burden. (Photograph courtesy of Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp.)|
Standard Bank and Iziko South African National Gallery is hosting the first solo exhibition in South Africa by Marlene Dumas, the internationally acclaimed South African-born artist.
Intimate Relations, curated by Dumas and Emma Bedford from South Africa, the exhibition is on at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town until 13 January, 2008, before it moves to the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, where it runs from 6 February to 29 March. Dumas was in Cape Town last week for the opening of the show.
Born in Kuilsriver, Dumas is a graduate of UCT's Michaelis School of Art. She left South Africa in 1976 and now lives and works in Amsterdam.
She is generally unknown to the broad South African public, although her work from local public collections is exhibited here from time to time.
"My best works are erotic displays of mental confusions (with intrusions of irrelevant information)," Dumas is quoted in one article. Added the reviewer: "Marlene Dumas makes paintings with no concept of the taboo. Racism, sexuality, religion, motherhood and childhood are all presented with chilling honesty."
The exhibition is an opportunity for South African audiences to become acquainted with her work.
The show and its related publication are conceived as a homecoming that will give South African audiences in-depth insights into her extraordinary oeuvre through a broad selection of her work, ranging from early conceptual pieces from her student years at Michaelis to very recent paintings and drawings dealing with contemporary global issues. The works, selected by the artist and Bedford, will be drawn from a variety of public and private collections in the Netherlands and Belgium.
According to Bedford, Dumas' work "deals with the cycle of life, and with issues of gender, sexuality, pleasure and pain, among others. While intellectual, ethical and moral questions stimulate and absorb her, it is her awareness of how these are experienced in and through the body that is central to her work".
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