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Marlene Dumas (Contemporary Artists Series) [Paperback]

Barbara Bloom , Mariuccia Casadio , Marlene Dumas

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Book Description

17 Mar 1999 Contemporary Artists Series

Marlene Dumas (b. 1953) is a South African-born, Amsterdam-based painter, and one of Holland’s most internationally admired artists. Dumas recalls in her work the painterly gestures of Expressionism, whilst combining the critical distance of Conceptual art with the pleasures of eroticism. Through her delicately painted oil-on-canvas or ink-and-watercolour depictions of the female form as well as portraits of children and erotic scenes, she comments on the state of painting today. What does it mean to be a woman working within the predominantly male genre of expressionist painting? The artist often depicts women: their expressions, their body and facial typologies, their self-image, their ideals.

The relationships between art and female beauty – or between art-historical models and twentieth-century supermodels – are constant themes in her work. Dumas does not paint from life but deliberately chooses ‘stock’ images from a variety of sources, from magazine cuttings to picture postcards to Old Master paintings, as re-observed through her contemporary perspective. Since the late 1970s she has exhibited widely, with solo exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London (1996), the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (1998), the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (1999) and the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2002). In 1995 she represented the Netherlands at the 46th Venice Biennale.

Dutch art critic Dominic van den Boogerd surveys themes in Dumas’ work in relation to a range of conceptual legacies in depictions of the human figure. New York artist Barbara Bloom interviews Dumas on questions contemporary women artists are asked, from issues of intellectual process to the representation of the self. Art journalist and former Editor of Vogue Italia Mariuccia Casadio focuses on Dumas’ painting Josephine (1997), reflecting on the iconic legacy of Josephine Baker. For her Artist’s Choice Dumas has selected two authors: Oscar Wilde, whose story ‘The Fisherman and His Soul’ inspired the artist’s early series of works on the theme of mermaids; and Jean Genet, whose autobiography Le Journal du voleur (1949, trans. Thief’s Journal, 1964) is excerpted here. Marlene Dumas has often acted as a spokesperson for her work; the Artist’s Writings section features many such seminal texts on her own art as well as meditations on love, religion, politics, and a discussion of Goya’s painting The Fates.

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'The boldest, best executed, and most far-reaching publishing project devoted to contemporary art. These books will revolutionize the way contemporary art is presented and written about.' (Artforum)

'The combination of intelligent analysis, personal insight, useful facts and plentiful pictures is a superb format invaluable for specialists but also interesting for casual readers, it makes these books a must for the library of anyone who cares about contemporary art.' (Time Out)

'A unique series of informative monographs on individual artists.' (The Sunday Times)

'Gives the reader the impression of a personal encounter with the artists. Apart from the writing which is lucid and illuminating, it is undoubtedly the wealth of lavish illustrations which makes looking at these books a satisfying entertainment.' (The Art Book)

About the Author

Dominic van den Boogerd is a writer on contemporary art. From 1993 to 1995 he was Chief Editor of the Dutch art magazine Metropolis M and is currently Director of de Ateliers international artists’ institute in Amsterdam. He is a regular contributor to several international art journals.

Barbara Bloom is a New York-based artist whose international exhibitions include the Venice Biennale (1988), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998), the International Center of Photography, New York (2006) and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2006). Her artist's books include Ghost Writer (1988),
The Reign of Narcissism (1990) and The Collections of Barbara Bloom (2006).

Mariuccia Casadio is a freelance writer on contemporary art, fashion and design. Formerly Editor of Vogue Italia, Milan (1986–90) and Editor-at-Large of Interview, New York (1990–93), at present she contributes regularly to Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SURPRISE PACKAGE! 29 Jun 2001
By L. Kooyman - Published on Amazon.com
I had seen a self-portrait done by Marlene Dumas in an art book and it blew me away. I did not know who she was or her main specialty. I knew I had to see more of her body of work... I quickly found this Phaedon publication, crossed my fingers and ordered it. When it finally arrived...I poured over it. It is now a few months later and I am still pouring over it. I particularly like the interviews and personal input Helene has had into the publication – this is her book and her philosophies – she puts herself out there for you to see her and to "get inside her head". The layout is very contemporary which adds to the presentation of her imagery. The reproductions of her work are plentiful and I am impressed with the range of her work through her different "periods". The text is concise and confronting in its subject matter, ranging from her life in apartheid Africa to the freedom of Amsterdam. This book is a must for art students and art lovers alike. It holds the key to an modern artist and, as an art student, has inspired me. I am looking forward to seeing more publications about her current work. I definitely give this book 5 stars – plus 5 stars for a major contemporary artist.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlene Dumas (Contemporary Artists) 5 Nov 2006
By Dianne Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
This book is one of my favourites. In Marlene Dumas, I found an artist that I totally relate to. I find her philosophy on her art practice refreshing and have enjoyed reading her own opinions. I am currently studying art at University, and she definitely is an artist that has gone against the mainstream of traditional drawing and painting techniques.

The layout of the book is easy to read, with many coloured pictures of her work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dumas 23 July 2008
By Barbara J. Bartels - Published on Amazon.com
Marlene Dumas is a fabulous contemporary artist, straight forward...no tricks, no formulas..like in the old days.

Its a beautiful book is excellent condition
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Book on Marlene Dumas! 31 Dec 2008
By Theseus - Published on Amazon.com
The Phaidon series on Contemporary Artists is always a sign of quality -- both in the reproductions and the editorial slant of the books.

I'm enamored of this one because it is the earliest book I've been able to find about Marlene Dumas.
10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 12 Oct 2002
By D. McGinnis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is what I look for in an art book, many large good quality reproductions of the work with a minimum of pretentious text. Let me look at the images first and decide what I think about them, then I can go read what the artist or some critic/historian thinks, not the other way around, as far too many books do.
I like the fact that Dumas does what she feels at the time she does it, so there is a lot of variety in this book, it is not the same piece over and over again. She is not like a lot of artist, simply becoming clichés of themselves at the 1st signs of success, she continues to experiment and try different things, which she is criticized for, however, I think that criticism is short sited. There is something fresh, loose and free about her work that I admire. Granted I don't like her work as much as when I first viewed it a few years ago (reflecting my own development as an artist) but it is still one of my favorite books and I would recommend it to anyone interested in contemporary art.
My only critic comes from my own bias, in that I find some of her content overly simplified clichés of women's issues and feminist theory. .........And I'm annoyed by the fact that If I, as a male artist, created some of the images she's created, I'd be lynched by NOW(or some other WWB-Whiny Women's Brigade as I've coined them) as being a misogynist pig.
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