Dumas marlene sacrifice 1993 foto sybl. s.   pictures

Marlene Dumas


Painting, 70 x 90 cm.
Materials: oil, canvas

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community (Inv. no. BK6152_M134).

Sacrifice shows a naked woman seen from the back. Before her stands a row of men, of whom we see only their legs and shoes. This small work gives the impression of being strikingly large. The figures are roughly painted with heavy, dark contours. Many large parts consist of but a single, large brushed sweep. The contrast between light and dark is sharp, the use of color is frugal, which lends graphic weight to the simple depiction. As with nearly all of Dumas’s works, here we are probably also presented with a painterly conversion or ‘forgery’ of someone else’s images. (Dumas uses photographs and films as source material.) These images are ‘stolen’ by the artist, distorted and recruited for her own purposes. It's impossible to estimate the tenor of her intentions, for a painter can only be read in the painting’s form. Both the title of the work, the way in which it is painted, and the use of color give the impression of an emotional event. However, we don't know exactly what is happening. In this work, too, Dumas leaves ample room for interpretation.

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