Marlene Dumas: Skulls & Hope & Fear

Kupferstich-Kabinett & Albertinum, Dresden, Germany
17 Oct 2017 - 14 Jan 2018

Marlene Dumas, Skulls, 2011–15. Oil on canvas. Albertinum, Dresden.

Marlene Dumas, Skulls, 2011–15. Oil on canvas. Albertinum, Dresden.

On the occasion of the design of the Altarbild in the Annenkirche in Dresden, which was inaugurated in 2017, the SKD (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) show works by Marlene Dumas in two parallel exhibitions at the Kupferstich-Kabinett and the Albertinum.

The Kupferstich-Kabinett presents Marlene Dumas. Hope and Fear, a special selection of 50 works on paper by Marlene Dumas. In her work, which places ink wash and watercolor drawing on the same artistic level as painting, she compresses such existential, human coordinates such as love, death, power and powerlessness into pictures that are always striking and ambivalent. The drawings are loosely based on photographic sources and attain a strong subjectivity as well as universal validity.

The Albertinum presents Marlene Dumas. Skulls with 36 works of her series “Skulls” (2013–15), which were shown at the Venice Biennale. Part of this series goes back to Charlotte Corday, who murdered the politician Jean Paul Marat during the French Revolution, after which she was guillotined and her skull was used for various experiments. The murder of Marat is a common motif in art, which Dumas translates into a new visual language in this series.


Born in 1953 in Cape Town, South Africa, Marlene Dumas has been living and working in Amsterdam for over 40 years and must be counted among the most important contemporary artists. Her paintings are infatuations with the human form—whether whole or fragmented, familiar or peculiar—and its varying approximations to eros and death. She draws, drips, smears, and daubs paint, frequently with her own hands and fingers, to elicit a spectrum of human flesh tones. Often rendered in bleeding lines and stains of wash against spare backgrounds, Dumas presents the unabashed nakedness of inhabited, or once inhabited, bodies in all their bruised particularities.


October 19, 6–7pm
Artist talk and catalogue presentation:

Marlene Dumas talks about her prints and drawings on display in Dresden
Albertinum, Dresden

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