September 29, 2018–January 13, 2019
"I have always said that I wish to paint love stories, and here Munch did just that, many years before me." —Marlene Dumas
A major exhibition featuring paintings and works on paper by Marlene Dumas and Edvard Munch (1863–1944) opens Saturday, September 29, at the Munch Museum in Oslo. Moonrise: Marlene Dumas & Edvard Munch is the first curatorial project for Dumas, who examined more than one hundred works in the museum’s collection to make her selection. She has also included paintings and drawings by her contemporary René Daniëls, who, as she explained, "taught me how to see Munch."
Two series form the core of this exhibition that encompasses themes of innocence, sexuality, metamorphosis, and death: Munch’s Alpha and Omega prints from 1908, and Dumas’s Venus and Adonis drawings (2015-2016). Over the course of twenty-two black-and-white lithographs, Alpha and Omega tells the tragic story of a fantasy battle of the sexes between the first humans on an island and their encounters with its animals and flora. (The title of the exhibition nods to an early, Eden-like scene in which the couple sit watching the moon rise over the water.) Dumas first saw these works in 1981 on a visit to the museum and was drawn to Munch’s depiction of humankind and nature, subjects she examines in her series of thirty-three watercolors based on Shakespeare’s narrative poem Venus and Adonis (1593). Tender and erotic with hints of violence, Dumas’s drawings depict the story of Venus, the goddess of love, and her tragic passion for the handsome youth Adonis. These singularly expressive ink wash drawings were first on view in Myths & Mortals, the artist’s recent solo exhibition at David Zwirner New York.
During the course of the exhibition, Cinematek in Oslo will be hosting a series of related films, also curated by Dumas. She will speak at Cinematek about the influence of film on her work on October 21.
Image: Marlene Dumas, Venus with the Body of Adonis, 2015–2016 (detail). © Marlene Dumas
Marlene Dumas has been awarded the 2017 Hans Theo Richter Prize for art by the Saxon Academy of Arts (Sächsische Akademie der Künste) in Dresden. Dumas is the 11th recipient of the annual prize, which was founded by the widow of the artist Hans Theo Richter.
Dumas was presented with the prize, which was reported in Dresden Magazin, on November 23, 2017. Upon receiving the award, the artist announced that she would donate the $23,000 prize to a scholarship program at Dresden’s Kupferstich-Kabinett in support of young artists. Read more in Artforum.
Two concurrent exhibitions and an altarpiece by the artist were on view in Dresden through January 14, 2018. Further details about the exhibitions and a related talk can be found here.
November 23, 4PM
Accompanying concurrent presentations of the artist's work in Dresden—Marlene Dumas. Skulls at the Albertinum and Marlene Dumas. Hope and Fear at The Kupferstich-Kabinett—Kathleen Reinhardt and Björn Egging discussed Dumas's work at the city's Staatliche Kunstsammlungen.
A 36-part work created from 2011-2015, Skulls was exhibited following the unveiling of a mural by Dumas in St. Anne's Church on Dresden's Freiberger Platz in March 2017. Hope and Fear presented 50 of the artist's works on paper at The Kupferstich-Kabinett. This exhibition ran parallel to the show Käthe Kollwitz in Dresden, also at the Kupferstich-Kabinett.
March 2017 saw the unveiling of a mural by Marlene Dumas in St. Anne's Church on Freiberger Platz in Dresden. Dumas's painting replaces the original altarpiece painted by Osmar Schindler in 1910, which was badly damaged during World War II. News of the commission was published in The Observer. Following the unveiling of the altarpiece, Marlene Dumas. Skulls (October 17, 2017–January 14, 2018, Albertinum, Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister) presented this 36-part work created from 2011–2015.