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  • Provenance

    Produzentengalerie, Hamburg

  • Catalogue Essay

    Commenting on the state of painting today, Marlene Dumas bases her art on images often derived from polaroids of friends or lovers, pre-existing erotic images from magazines and articles, or simply pictures of children. Her painterly style, reminiscent of Expressionism is one of delicate and discreet depiction, in which she visually captures an ambiguous intimacy no matter what the exact subject matter.

    Mostly using the female subject in her works, Dumas touches upon the perception of women in a mainly male dominated world. Inviting spectators to consider her work within a contemporary context, Dumas subsequently abandons observers in a state of constant deciphering, where the possible gravity of subject matter is eased by the lightness of her brushwork.

    With her colour palette of sepia tones, Child with Big-Nosed Shadow, is a primary example, in which Dumas has loaded a painting with meaning and controversy. Subtly, yet powerful, she does not infuse the work with obvious ambiguity or with an implied interpretation. Through her unique painterly style, she has captured an image that provides the spectator with certain "implied knowingness", whilst simultaneously leaving any definite reading questionable.

  • Artist Biography

    Marlene Dumas

    South African • 1953

    Marlene Dumas was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and raised on her family’s vineyard in the countryside. After beginning her art degree at the University of Cape Town, she decided to continue her studies in the Netherlands: the country where she’d build her career as an artist, and still lives today. In 1995, she represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale. 

    Dumas is best known as a painter, using both oil and watercolor. She typically works from a reference photograph, which could be purchased, from her own camera roll or collected from print media. Her work focuses on the human body, and though figurative, she often distorts her subjects with loose, painterly brushstrokes to make plain their emotional state. Deeply influenced by growing up during Apartheid, Dumas’ work centers around themes of repression, misogyny, violence and sexuality. Today, Dumas is one of the most expensive living female artists at auction, with her work first selling for over $1 million in 2004. 

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Child with Big-Nosed Shadow

Oil on canvas.
11 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (30 x 24 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “M Dumas/Child with Big Nosed Shadow 1992” on the stretcher.

£30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for £36,000

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm