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Marlene Dumas

8 April – 15 May 1994

Born in Capetown, South Africa, Dumas has been living in Europe since 1976 where she has gained considerable recognition for a politically subversive and emotionally poignant body of figurative work. Focussing on the figure, Dumas' expressionistic work disarms sexual and social stereotypes with physical and psychological frankness. In her bold paintings and drawings, Dumas explores issues of exploitation, voyeurism and bigotry.

In a series of larger-than-life size paintings of babies, for example, Dumas exposes their natural eccentricity and bestiality, which our culture normally hides under cute disguises. Her figures are distorted by ambiguous and peculiar proportions. She confesses, "I have never been interested in anatomy. In that respect I relate like children do. What is experienced as the most important is seen as the biggest, irrespective of size." Dumas' imagery comes from Polaroid photographs and magazine clippings, which she reproduces large scale in unnaturally brilliant colours.

This is the first exhibition of work by Marlene Dumas in Canada, and will include paintings and drawings dating from the early 1980s to the present. This exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and the Goldie Paley Gallery at the Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia; supported in part by the Netherlands Ministry of Culture.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]