Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden

Evil is Banal

Marlene Dumas: ‘Evil is Banal’, 1984

Major survey of the South Africa-born, Amsterdam-based painter whose subjects include Jesus, Princess Diana, Phil Spector and Amy Winehouse.


Enter a Marlene Dumas exhibition and you never know who you might meet. Among the subjects of the South Africa-born, Amsterdam-based painter’s work over the past few years are Jesus, Princess Diana, Phil Spector, Amy Winehouse and Osama bin Laden. Dumas is the painter-doyenne of dark undercurrents, tragic lives and falls from grace. ‘I have always been interested in how you can depict suffering without being heavy-handed,’ she told us when we spoke in 2011. Dumas avoids heavy-handedness with a free-flowing style and wraith-like portraits that seem to float like apparitions. Despite being among the world’s most prominent painters, the sixty-something artist is not well known in the UK. This retrospective looks set to change that. Big time.

Where: Tate Morder, Bankside, Thursday February 5 2015 – Sunday May 10 2015

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