For Women’s History Month, from our newsletter archives. Originally published March 31, 2022.
The large solo exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice running through January 8, 2023, further expands the painter Marlene Dumas’ remarkable fifty-year career consisting of scores of exhibitions at top galleries and museums, as well as, impressive auction sales.
A valuable by product of this distinguished history is a large cache of gallery cards, brochures, posters, and other promotional materials, that along with some photographs shared by friends, provide the content for Marlene Dumas: Fifty Years of Art Ephemera, a new online exhibition at Gallery 98. The art ephemera reveals a singular artist, a painter of people, whose images of pain and pleasure have strong universal appeal.
The Eyes Of The Night Creatures, card for a solo exhibition by Dumas, Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam, NL, 1985.
Size: 6 x 4.25 inches
The cards made for Dumas’ first solo shows featured titles and found images that reflected the exhibition’s theme.The Eyes of the Night Creatures (1985) bears a photo of wide-eyed raccoons for an exhibition of portraits that emphasized each subjects’ eyes.
Size: 6 x 4.25 inches
Most galleries use a painting by Dumas to illustrate their announcement cards and promotional materials. This 1988 German card features a work from Waiting (for meaning), the series that first launched Dumas’ career.
“The Painter” (Dumas’ daughter Helena at age five), card from Dumas’ solo exhibition “Not From Here,” Jack Tilton Gallery, NY, 1994.
Size: 9.25 x 5 inches
One of Dumas’ most popular images The Painter shows her five-year-old daughter Helena with her hands covered with paint. It was included in the exhibition Not From Here about which Dumas wrote: “the young child, the painter, the foreigner are ‘not from here’… I am always ‘not from here.’”
“Dangerous Women Defeated Men,” Marlene Dumas with “Jokers” by Andries Botha, set of playing cards, a multiple of 300, produced by Berliner Spielkarten, Darmstadt, GER, 1998.
Size: 2.5 x 4 inches
This set of playing cards, a limited edition of 300, was a collaboration between Dumas and South African artist Andries Botha who designed the jokers. Dumas’ drawings are inspired by pin-ups; Botha contributed photographs of men with shaved heads.
Marlene Dumas, “The Neighbour“ (2005) and “The Semite” (2006), from the 35-page exhibition catalogue “Man Kind,” Paul Andriesse Gallery, NL, 2006.
Size: 8.25 x 11 inches
The exhibition Man Kind featured portraits of men and one female skull. The 36-page catalogue begins with the words, “This is not the times for The Family of Man’s smiles.”
“Maria (Ingrid Bergman),” card for the exhibition “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, BEL, 2008.
Size: 4 x 5.5 inches
Dumas’ exhibition For Whom the Bell Tolls featured paintings of actresses most of whom had died young or suffered from long term illnesses like Bergman.
Visit the exhibition Marlene Dumas: Fifty Years of Art Ephemera.