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  • Provenance

    Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp 

  • Catalogue Essay

    Dumas herself elaborates on how she thinks about painting. ‘Painting is about the trace of the human touch. It is about the skin of a surface.’ Some paintings don’t want to come to life. Or it takes a long time to bring them tolife. ‘A painting’, she says, ‘is something you have to get up close to.To see, you have to get intimate. If a painting doesn’t change as you get closer, it is not a good painting.’ Intimacy, for her, is about seeing as such, it is theground of perception, its condition. Contrary to a language of critical distance, so often invoked as a condition of knowing, she suggests that knowledge is to be found in closeness, can be articulated on in terms of the close up. ‘I treat painting’, Dumas says, ‘as a lover treats a beloved.’ (A. Mbembe and S. Nuttall, ‘The Human Face’, Marlene Dumas \ Intimate Relations, South Africa, 2007, p. 127)

  • 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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Three Female Busts from the Sixties

Oil on canvas in three parts.
Each: 30 x 24 cm. (11 7/8 x 9 1/2 in).
Signed 'M. Dumas' on the reverse of each panel; titled '3 female busts from the sixties' on the reverse of the third panel.  

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm