Thursday, October 30, 2008

Marlene Dumas (Akio's Pick)

Marlene Dumas is a South African-born painter. Her works have been shown in major exhibitions around the world. I have seen her artwork a couple years ago in the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. There I saw many of her impressive works in ink and mixed media. 

The works of Dumas could be related to that of some of the previous artists like Tracy Emin (one of the discussion artists) in a sense that they both seem to be attempting to get their essential messages across by represent their works rather explicitly and violently. The artist's themes include racism, religion, and sexuality. 

I especially like Dumas' use of media, the way she let the ink or color bleed and flow. The touches of the brush are rather soft and delicate, and yet the painter manages to make the works so intense and expressive. Also, a critic says Dumas "blurs the boundaries between painting and drawing." Similarly, what is known as the East Asian 'ink painting' should be categorized as a painting or drawing is debatable, since the ink painting is about depicting the essence with the minimum amount of lines and details. Painting, on the other hand, often refers to a type of work made by layering one color on another, like how it is done in oil paintings. 

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