Marlene Dumas

15 December 2012

Marlene Dumas was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts. Widely regarded as one of the most influential painters working today, Marlene Dumas has continuously explored the complex range of human emotions, often probing questions of gender, race, sexuality and economic inequality.

Born in Cape Town in 1953, she completed her studies at UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1975, before attending the Ateliers '63 in Haarlem, Netherlands, for two years. From 1979 to 1980 she studied at the Psychological Institute at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Dumas' distinctive interest in and use of photographic sources in her painting practice has enjoyed sustained critical reception, as has her courage in handling sensitive topics of racial and sexual violence and mortality. Her work consistently explores constructions of identity and the fluid distinctions between the public and the private. Dumas' achievements were capped most recently by her major retrospective exhibition, 'Measuring Your Own Grave', at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her work is featured in collections in many countries.

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