Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun | David Zwirner
Cover image for Marcel Dzama Who Loves the Sun

Marcel Dzama

Who Loves the Sun

David Zwirner is pleased to present Who Loves the Sun, an exhibition of new work by Marcel Dzama (b. 1974), on view at the gallery’s 34 East 69th Street location in New York. This will be the artist’s eleventh solo exhibition at David Zwirner since joining the gallery in 1998, and his first solo presentation in New York since 2014. The exhibition coincides with the opening of a major survey of the artist’s work at the Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland.

Dzama created this new group of drawings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time in which the artist and much of the rest of the world were social distancing and in quarantine. A sense of hope pervades these new works. Several of the drawings feature beaming anthropomorphized suns and moons above groups of reveling masked dancers. As Dzama notes, “I find the fear, anxiety, and sadness from the virus has changed my art. It has focused it in a more hopeful and positive direction. I find when things are more easygoing, I get a little more cynical and world-weary, but when things are down, I find myself being more hopeful and positive in my work.”1

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1 Marcel Dzama, quoted in Barry Samaha, “State of the Art Industry in the Time of Coronavirus,” Harper’s Bazaar (May 7, 2020), accessed online.

Image: Marcel Dzama, Who loves the sun, 2020-2021 (detail)

 
Dates
September 8October 23, 2021
Artist
Install view of Who Loves the Sun, two paintings placed above a fireplace

Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Who Loves the Sun features an array of new drawings that build upon Marcel Dzama’s interest in travel and nature. Many were inspired by photographs the artist took on trips to Morocco, Mexico, and Fire Island before the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Who loves the sun, dated 2020 to 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Who loves the sun, 2020-2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
19 1/4 x 50 inches (48.9 x 127 cm)

“I find the fear, anxiety, and sadness from the virus has changed my art. It has focused it in a more hopeful and positive direction. I find when things are more easygoing, I get a little more cynical and world-weary, but when things are down, I find myself being more hopeful and positive in my work.”

—Marcel Dzama

This is an installation view of a mosaic commissioned by the MTA called No Less Than Everything Comes Together, Marcel Dzama, 2021.

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Woman working across a mosaic commissioned by the MTA called No Less Than Everything Comes Together, Marcel Dzama, 2021.

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

A close-up of a mosaic commissioned by the MTA called No Less Than Everything Comes Together, Marcel Dzama, 2021.

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

A left-angled installation view of a mosaic commissioned by the MTA called No Less Than Everything Comes Together, Marcel Dzama, 2021.

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

A close-up of a mosaic commissioned by the MTA called No Less Than Everything Comes Together, Marcel Dzama, 2021.

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

A right-angled installation view of a mosaic commissioned by MTA called No Less than Everything Comes Together by Marcel Dzama in 2021

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

A close-up of No Less than Everything Comes Together, a mosaic by Marcel Dzama, dated 2021.

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

Installation view, Marcel Dzama, No Less than Everything Comes Together, 2021. MTA New York City Transit and commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Arts & Design. Photo by Kris Graves

The exhibition includes the original drawings Dzama created for a mosaic commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design for a subway station in Brooklyn, New York.

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled That light is from the moon (or Don't turn out the lights just yet...that light is from the moon), dated 2020 to 2021.

Marcel Dzama

That light is from the moon (or Don't turn out the lights just yet...that light is from the moon), 2020-2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
19 1/4 x 37 3/4 inches (48.9 x 95.9 cm)
Several dancers from New York City Ballet performing The Most Incredible Thing, 2016. Photo by Paul Kolnik

New York City Ballet performing The Most Incredible Thing, 2016. Photo by Paul Kolnik

New York City Ballet performing The Most Incredible Thing, 2016. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The drawings and corresponding murals feature theatrical scenes of masked dancing figures whose attire recalls Dzama’s costumes for his 2016 collaboration with New York City Ballet, the avant-garde costumes of Oskar Schlemmer’s iconic Triadic Ballet (1922), and Francis Picabia’s signature polka dots.

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Blue Moon, dated 2020.

Marcel Dzama

Blue Moon, 2020
Watercolor, acrylic, and graphite on paper
Image: 20 x 58 1/2 inches (50.8 x 148.6 cm)
Framed: 23 3/8 x 62 1/8 inches (59.4 x 157.8 cm)

Several of the drawings depict an anthropomorphized moon that directly recalls the moon in French filmmaker Georges Méliès’s seminal early film A Trip to the Moon (1902).

Still from Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon),1902. Directed by Georges Méliès. © Star Film

Still from Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), 1902. Directed by Georges Méliès. © Star Film

Still from Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), 1902. Directed by Georges Méliès. © Star Film

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled It all comes together again, dated 2020 to 2021.

Marcel Dzama

It all comes together again, 2020-2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
19 1/4 x 50 inches (48.9 x 127 cm)

Across these works, leaping and pirouetting dancers commingle with depictions of the sun and moon derived from imagery Dzama found in fourteenth-century manuscripts on alchemy.

A detail of Splendor Solis (an alchemical treatise), folio 10, King and Queen, dated 1582.

Folio 10 from Splendor Solis (an alchemical treatise), 1582. © The British Library

Folio 10 from Splendor Solis (an alchemical treatise), 1582. © The British Library

Drawing from snapshots taken during his travels, Dzama mixes tropical imagery, depictions of leisure, and bright colors with illustrations of masked characters, dancers, wild animals, and hybrid figures in fantastical scenes of enchanted worlds that evoke wanderlust and joy.

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Our father was a beast, mother a beauty, and grandpa was a vampire, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Our father was a beast, mother a beauty, and grandpa was a vampire, 2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 3/8 x 12 1/2 inches (31.4 x 31.8 cm)
Framed: 16 3/8 x 16 1/2 inches (41.6 x 41.9 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Broken wing, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Broken wing, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/4 x 9 inches (31.1 x 22.9 cm)
Framed: 16 1/8 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite in six (6) parts
Overall: 81 1/4 x 309 3/4 inches (206.4 x 786.8 cm)

Dzama created this twenty-five-foot-long mural in response to President Joe Biden’s victory in the state of Georgia in the 2020 United States presidential election.

The six-part work on paper debuted at Dzama’s solo exhibition An End to the End Times at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art in February 2021.

Detail of Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance)

Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021 (detail)

Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021 (detail)

Detail of Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021

Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021 (detail)

Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021 (detail)

Detail of Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance)

Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021 (detail)

Marcel Dzama, We dance like the fire on the bones of the liars and let truth rise from the ash (or Moon dance), 2021 (detail)

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Like the flowers of romance, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Like the flowers of romance, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 30 x 22 1/8 inches (76.2 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 33 x 25 1/4 inches (83.8 x 64.1 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled All 4 saints blessed our pool of water (and walked away hand in hand on the beach), dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

All 4 saints blessed our pool of water (and walked away hand in hand on the beach), 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Framed: 33 x 25 1/4 inches (83.8 x 64.1 cm)

Dzama works on Like the flowers of romance (2021), a portrayal of his wife and fellow artist Shelley Dick.

In contrast to the more optimistic works, a series of drawings offers foreboding views of ecological disaster including a large-format diptych that personifies Mother Nature as both a sinking oil ship and a figure that lies dead at the bottom of the sea.

The installation view of a large-format diptych by Marcel Dzama, dated 2021

Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Marcel Dzama at work on I’m glad mama fought, I only wish she won, 2021

Marcel Dzama at work on I’m glad mama fought, I only wish she won, 2021

Marcel Dzama at work on I’m glad mama fought, I only wish she won, 2021

“Whatever effect art has on a culture, I hope that whatever minuscule amount this could help might steer the pendulum toward good.”

—Marcel Dzama

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled I'm glad mama fought. I only wish she won., dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

I'm glad mama fought. I only wish she won., 2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
76 1/4 x 52 inches (193.7 x 132.1 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Mama gonna rise again but if we make her fall, we going down with her, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Mama gonna rise again but if we make her fall, we going down with her, 2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
76 1/2 x 51 inches (194.3 x 129.5 cm)
Installation view of Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun

Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Who Loves the Sun, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled No light, but rather darkness visible, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

No light, but rather darkness visible, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/4 x 9 inches (31.1 x 22.9 cm)
Framed: 16 1/8 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled She made the moon stay up all night, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

She made the moon stay up all night, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/4 x 9 1/8 inches (31.1 x 23.2 cm)
Framed: 16 1/8 x 13 1/8 inches (41 x 33.3 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled The great mother at midnight, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

The great mother at midnight, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/4 x 9 inches (31.1 x 22.9 cm)
Framed: 16 1/8 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Revolution blues on the beach, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Revolution blues on the beach, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/8 x 9 1/8 inches (30.8 x 23.2 cm)
Framed: 16 1/8 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm)

“Dzama is a draftsman who is keenly aware that space represents the potential for bodies to touch. So as his landscape changed once again in 2020, so did this latest phase of drawings. Many of his crowds have once again emptied out and been replaced with oceans and moons, scenes from Dzama’s memories of travels he could no longer take. Sometimes he drew them from vacation photos of Morocco and Mexico.”

—Rachel Corbett, in Marcel Dzama: Tonight We Dance, the catalogue for Dzama’s upcoming exhibition at the Sara Hildén Art Museum, opening September 25, 2021

A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled All of my pawns are Queens, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

All of my pawns are Queens, 2021
Ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 x 12 1/4 inches (30.5 x 31.1 cm)
Framed: 16 x 16 1/4 inches (40.6 x 41.3 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Everyone loves the sun..., dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

Everyone loves the sun..., 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/2 x 9 1/8 inches (31.8 x 23.2 cm)
Framed: 16 3/8 x 13 inches (41.6 x 33 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled She once opened her flower for me, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

She once opened her flower for me, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 12 1/4 x 9 inches (31.1 x 22.9 cm)
Framed: 16 1/8 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled A mid-summer night's sonnet, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

A mid-summer night's sonnet, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
Image: 14 x 11 inches (35.6 x 27.9 cm)
Framed: 18 x 15 inches (45.7 x 38.1 cm)

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