Text by Leontine Coelewij, Colm Toibin. Interview by Theodora Vischer
Marlene Dumas is one of the most prominent and influential painters working today. In an era dominated by the mass media and a proliferation of images, her work is a testament to the meaning and potency of painting. Dumas draws on her expansive visual archive and the nuances of language to create intense, psychologically charged works which explore themes such as sexuality, love, death, and guilt, often referencing art history and current affairs. Her paintings and drawings are characterized by their extraordinary expressiveness and sometimes controversial subject matter. This fully illustrated exhibition catalogue accompanies a major exhibition at the Tate Modern, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Fondation Beyeler. Surveying the artist’s oeuvre from the mid-70s to the present, it features over 100 of her most important paintings and drawings alongside lesser-known works from the early period of her career. The Image as Burden also includes a new interview with the artist; extracts from previously published but lesser-known texts (some available in English for the first time); and a new short story from prize-winning author Colm Tóibín written in response to the paintings. Essays and texts from a wide range of contributors examine the key themes and motifs in her work and reflect on Dumas’s entire career.