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Lot 4: Marlene Dumas (b. 1953)

Post War and Contemporary Art - Evening Sale

by Christie's

November 10, 2004

New York, NY, USA

Marlene Dumas (1953) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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Description: Jule, die Vrou
oil on canvas
49 1/4 x 41 3/8 in. (125 x 105 cm.)
Painted in 1985.

Notes: "I don't have any conception of how big an average head is, I've never been interested in anatomy. In that respect I relate like children do. What is experienced as most important, is seen as the biggest, irrespective of actual or factual size. In the movies everything is larger than life and yet you experience that as real(istic), all my faces are much bigger than human scale. From blowing up to zooming in, for me the 'close-up' was a way of getting rid of irrelevant background information and by making the facial elements so big, it increased the sense of abstraction concerning the picture frame. The elimination of the background also did away with the place of being, and environmental context.


"As the isolation of a recognizable figure increases and the narrative character decreases (contrary to what one might initially assume that this lack of illustrative information would bring about), the interpretative affects are inflamed. The titles re-direct the work; however do not eradicate the inherent ambiguity. One cannot interpret the painting of Julie - die Vrou without entangling some of the root metaphors applied not only to the female, but to the idea of portrayal in general."

(Marlene Dumas, as cited in Miss Interpreted - Marlene Dumas, exh. cat., Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1992, p. 30).

Installation view of The Eyes of the Night, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, 1985

Provenance: Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Artist or Maker: Marlene Dumas (b. 1953)

Exhibited: Amsterdam, Galerie Paul Andriesse, The Eyes of the Night Creatures, 1985.
Kunsthalle Bern, The Question of Human Pink, July-August 1989, no. 8.
Eindhoven, Van Abbemuseum, Miss Interpreted, March-May 1992 (illustrated in color, p. 31).

Literature: D. van den Boogerd, B. Bloom and M. Casadio, Marlene Dumas, London and New York, 2002, p. 119 (illustrated in color, p. 118).

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