Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Marlene Dumas (South African, b.1953) is a painter, best known for her unsettling images of women and children. After studying art at the University of Cape Town, Dumas moved to the Netherlands, where she continues to work today. Referencing magazines, pornographic imagery, and personal Polaroid photographs of friends and lovers, the artist primarily paints figurative paintings laden with psychological tension. Dumas works with gestural brush strokes and washes, mainly in oil, watercolor, and ink; many of her pieces are small and intimate. Her first major American shows took place in June 2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Timeline

1953
Born Capetown, South Africa
1972–1975
BA Fine Art, University of Cape Town
1976–1978
Atelier 63, Haarlem, Netherlands
1979–1980
Institute of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
Lives and works in Amsterdam

Exhibitions

2012
Fondazione Stelline, Milan, Italy (solo)
Marlene Dumas - Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (solo)
This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s - De Ateliers, Amsterdam (solo)
Marlene Dumas - Love Hasn’t Got Anything To Do With It - Zacheta - National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (solo)
This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s - De Ateliers, Amsterdam (solo)
Marlene Dumas - De Ateliers, Amsterdam (solo)
Art & Press - De Ateliers, Amsterdam (solo)
This will have been Art, Love and politics in the 1980s - De Ateliers, Amsterdam (solo)This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s - ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, London (England)
This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s - ICA - Institute of Contemporary ArtBoston, Boston, MA
Visions - Galerie Pascal Polar, Brussels
Der Nackte Mann - Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz
Look.ed! - Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
Kids - Contemporary Fine Arts - CFA, Berlin
Wide Open School - Hayward Gallery, London (England)
Couleur Radicaal - Marres - Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht
Circus Wols - Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen
Sidetracks Painting in the paramodern continuum - De Ateliers, Amsterdam
2011
Frith Street Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Bienale de Lyon, Lyon, France
Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens, Greece
2010–2011
Tronies, Haus der Kunst, Munich
2010
Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (solo)
David Zwirner, New York, NY (solo)
Victoria Miro, London, UK
Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2009
Measuring your Own Grave, Menil Collection, Houston, TX (solo)
2008
Measuring your Own Grave, MoMA, New York (solo)
Measuring your Own Grave, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA (solo)
Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (solo)
Intimate Relations Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA (solo)
Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa (solo)
For Whom the bell Tolls, Zeno X, Antwerp, Belgium (solo)
The Painting of Modern Life, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy
MOCA The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
MoMA, New York, NY (solo)
2007
The Painting of Modern Life, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Artempo: Where time becomes art, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy
Global Feminism, Brooklyn Museum, NY
EROS in Modern Art, Kunstforum Wien, Austria
De Cirkel, Roger Raveelmuseum, Machelen-Zulte, Belgium
Leve de Schilderkunst! Terug naar de figuur!, Kunsthal, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Works on paper, Zeno X Gallery & Zeno X Storage, Antwerp, Belgium
Broken White, Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art (MOT), Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Light and Dark 1987 - 2007, Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Broken White, Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Marugame, Japan (solo)
National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (solo)
2006
Under the Surface - Aanwinsten 2005-2006, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Man Kind, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
2005
Selected Works, Zwirner and Wirth, New York, NY (solo)
Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (solo)
Nordic Waterclourmuseum Skärhamn, Skärhamn, Sweden (solo)
Female, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany (solo)
SELF PORTRAIT Renaissance to Contemporary, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Frith Street Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2004
Nederland Niet Nederland: Aankopen van Nederlandse kunst 1980-2004, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2003
(In Search of) the Perfect Lover, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium
Wet Dreams, Aquarelle, Stadtische Galerie, Ravensburg, Germany (solo) (cat)
Suspect, Palazetto Tito, Venice, Italy (solo) (cat)
Time and Again, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA (solo)
2002
Name no Names, De Pont, Tilburg (cat.)
Name no Names, New Museum, New York, NY (cat.)
2001
Nom de Personne / Name no Names, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (cat.)
100 Models and Endless Rejects, I.C.A., Boston, MA
The Contemporary Face: From Pablo Picasso to Alex Katz, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (cat.)
2000
12th Biennal of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (cat.)
Das Gedächtnis Der Malerei, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Sweden
Marlene Dumas: MD, Camden Arts Center (GB),
1999
MD-Light, MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium
Regarding Beauty, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC
1998
Marlene Dumas, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
1996
Marlene Dumas, Tate Gallery, London, UK
1995
Carnegie International 1995, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (cat.)
Ripple Across the Water, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Dumas. Roosen. Van Warmedam, Biennale di Venezia, Giardini di Castello, Venice, Italy
Africus. First Biennale of Contemporary Art, Johannesburg, South-Africa (cat.)
1994
4x1 im Albertinum, Staatliche Kunstammlungen, Dresden, Germany (cat.)
1993
Der Zerbrochene Spiegel. Positionen zur Malerei (The Broken Mirror), Kunsthalle, Wien (Au.), (26 May - 25 July), (cat.)
1992
Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany (cat.)
1991
Ausser Reichweite von Kindern Galerie Stampa, Basel Switzerland
The Origin of the Species Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam
1990
The Origin of the Species Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich, Germany
Couples Museum Overholland, Amsterdam
1989
The Question of Human Pink Kunsthalle, Bern
1988
Ecco Pier Paolo Pasolini Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Waiting (for meaning) Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Mother Explains Life to Her Son Kunstcentrum Marktzeventien, Enschede
Nightmares Galerie Wanda Reiff, Maastricht, The Netherlands
1987
The Private versus the Public Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam
1986
Fear of Babies De Expeditie, Amsterdam
1985
The Eyes of the Night Creatures Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam
1984
The Artist as a Young Girl Galerie Flatland, Utrecht
1983
Unsatisfied Desire Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam
1982
Documenta 7, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel (G.)
1980
Marlene Dumas Galerie Lambelet, Basel
1979
Marlene Dumas Galerie Annemarie de Kruyff, Paris

Literature

2006
Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin, Codroipo, Udine, Italy (cat.)
2006
The Portrait Now, edited by Sandy Nairne and Sarah Howgate, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (cat.)
2005
Matisse Masterpieces, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (cat.)
2005
Vitamin D - New Perspectives in Drawing, edited by Phaidon Press (cat.)
2005
Self Portrait: Renaissance to Contemporary, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (cat.)
2005
Marlene Dumas - wet dreams watercolours, Städtische Galerie Ravensburg, Ravensburg, Germany - text by Jean-Christophe Ammann (cat.)
2005
Drawing from the Modern 1975 - 2005, MOMA, New York, USA (cat.)
2005
Marlene Dumas - Female, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland - a collaboration with the Sammlung Gernatz (cat.)
2005
Slow Art: Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Flandern und den Niederlanden, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany (cat.)
2005
Soul: Bezielde kunst - Inspired Art, Grootseminarie, Brugges, Belgium (cat.)
2005
Marlene Dumas + Marijke van Warmerdam: Con vista al celestiale, Siracusa Contemporary Art Center, Montevergini, Italy (cat.)
2005
Marlene Dumas - selected works, Zwirner & Wirth, New York, USA (cat.)
2005
The Nude: Ideal and reality, painting and sculpture. From Neoclassicsm to Today, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy (cat.)
2005
(my private) Heroes, Marta Herfrod, Germany (cat.)
2005
The Triumph of Painting, Published by Jonathan Cape in association with Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (cat.)
2004
Marlene Dumas - Chlorosis in Moma Highlights, MOMA, New York, USA (cat.)
2004
Het Collectieboek - Van Abbemuseum, edited by Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (cat.)
2004
Stripped Bare, edited by Hatje Cantz Verlag, Germany - text by Thomas Koerfer, Marianne Karabelnik (cat.)
2004
Afrika Remix, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany (cat.)