An installation view of Marcel Dzama: Child of Midnight at David Zwirner London gallery, dated 2022

Marcel Dzama: Child of Midnight

David Zwirner is pleased to present Child of Midnight, an exhibition of new works by Marcel Dzama, on view at the gallery’s London location.

As Dzama notes, “The exhibition, Child of Midnight, plays with the theme of an apocalypse of climate change. That we are counting down the time on The Doomsday Clock, at this hour of midnight, with very little time for our children to prevent certain doom. There is also a little travel escapism in there, although the flood has started. There are also references to alchemy … and the writings of [William] Blake and Dante. And the game of chess we are playing with Mother Nature.”

This is the artist’s twelfth solo exhibition at David Zwirner since joining the gallery in 1998, and his third at the London space following his 2013 exhibition Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets and his joint presentation with Raymond Pettibon, Let us compare mythologies, in 2016.

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Image: Installation view, Marcel Dzama: Child of Midnight, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Dates
November 17December 22, 2022
Opening Reception
Thursday, November 17, 6-8pm
Gallery Hours
Tues—Sat 10am–6pm
Artist

Dzama’s latest works expand on the tropical, oceanic, and celestial imagery that he has been exploring over the last several years in his practice. The costumed figures and animals dance around in lush, vibrantly colored settings underneath grinning moons and shimmering stars.

A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled So they say, everything gonna be alright, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

So they say, everything gonna be alright, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
22 1/4 x 30 inches (56.5 x 76.2 cm)
Framed: 25 3/8 x 33 1/8 inches (64.5 x 84.1 cm)

“I’ve been drawing and playing a lot with trickster gods in the last little while. I was thinking of the moon in control of some situation going down underneath it. He has control of everyone’s destiny. He’s watching his mad work unfold. Or maybe it’s me. It’s my representation. It’s the artist making this drawing.”

—Marcel Dzama

A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Now it's summer, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Now it's summer, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
16 7/8 x 12 inches (42.9 x 30.5 cm)
Framed: 21 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches (54 x 41.8 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled My love tells me of my future and helps me with my past, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

My love tells me of my future and helps me with my past, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
12 1/4 x 9 1/8 inches (31.1 x 23.2 cm)
Framed: 16 5/8 x 13 3/8 inches (42.2 x 34 cm)
A detail view for the artwork titled Now it's summer by Marcel Dzama, dated 2022
Marcel Dzama, Now it's summer, 2022 (detail)
Marcel Dzama, Now it's summer, 2022 (detail)
An artwork titled My love tells me of my future and helps me with my past by Marcel Dzama, dated 2022
Marcel Dzama, My love tells me of my future and helps me with my past, 2022 (detail)
Marcel Dzama, My love tells me of my future and helps me with my past, 2022 (detail)

The new works were inspired by a range of sources, including the sixteenth-century Wunderzeichenbuch (Book of Miracles), the 1940s kitsch-inspired portraits by Francis Picabia, and John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost.

An anonymous work, titled Folio 109, Plague of locusts in Poland, dated 1527, from Wunderzeichenbuch (Book of Miracles), circa 1552

Anonymous, Folio 109, Plague of locusts in Poland, 1527, from Wunderzeichenbuch (Book of Miracles), c. 1552

Anonymous, Folio 109, Plague of locusts in Poland, 1527, from Wunderzeichenbuch (Book of Miracles), c. 1552

A detail of a painting by Francis Picabia titled Portrait de Dorothy B., circa 1940

Francis Picabia, Portrait de Dorothy B., c. 1940. © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Francis Picabia, Portrait de Dorothy B., c. 1940. © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled We swam in the floods of paradise, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

We swam in the floods of paradise, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper in three (3) parts
Overall: 76 1/8 x 155 1/4 inches (193.5 x 394.5 cm)
Part 1: 76 x 51 3/4 inches (193.2 x 131.5 cm)
Part 2: 76 x 51 3/4 inches (193 x 131.5 cm)
Part 3: 76 1/8 x 51 3/4 inches (193.5 x 131.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Paradise lost cat, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Paradise lost cat, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
51 3/4 x 43 1/4 inches (131.5 x 109.8 cm)
Framed: 55 1/8 x 46 5/8 inches (140 x 118.5 cm)

“A drawing can be slipped between the pages of a book or folded into an envelope…. It is, by definition, an intimate medium, and no living American artist uses it more expressively than Dzama.”

—Deborah Solomon, art critic

A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Surrendered like fallen rain, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Surrendered like fallen rain, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
29 7/8 x 22 1/8 inches (75.9 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 32 5/8 x 25 inches (83 x 63.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Midnight's Children, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Midnight's Children, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
76 1/8 x 51 3/4 inches (193.4 x 131.4 cm)
Framed: 79 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches (202 x 140 cm)

Many of the works show figures submerged within endless expanses of water. Rendered in rich blue tones, these waterscapes appear like scenes from a surreal aquatic ballet but their never-ending waterlines serve as a visual allegory for the continued effects of climate change.

A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Nearer the moon too me, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Nearer the moon too me, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
14 1/8 x 14 inches (35.9 x 35.6 cm)
Framed: 18 3/8 x 18 3/8 inches (46.6 x 46.6 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled A musical portrait of Federico Garcia Lorca, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

A musical portrait of Federico Garcia Lorca, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
11 x 14 inches (27.9 x 35.6 cm)
Framed: 15 3/8 x 18 3/8 inches (39 x 46.6 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled I'm on my time with everyone, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

I'm on my time with everyone, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches (41.9 x 29.5 cm)
Framed: 21 x 16 1/8 inches (53.2 x 40.9 cm)
A photograph featuring Marcel Dzama in his Brooklyn studio, 2021. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Marcel Dzama in his Brooklyn studio, 2021. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Marcel Dzama in his Brooklyn studio, 2021. Photo: Jason Schmidt

More than just a metaphor for the artist, chess has been a longtime interest for Dzama, which has figured into works throughout his career and appears in several of the works that are on view. For instance, the exhibition debuts a new sculptural diorama that resembles an elaborate stage set populated by unique ceramic and wood chess pieces.

A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, titled Marcel's palace at midnight, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Marcel's palace at midnight, 2022
Wood, ceramic, graphite, ink, acrylic, and glue
17 x 28 1/4 x 15 3/4 inches (43.2 x 71.8 x 40 cm)

“Chess is basically a battle game, and for Dzama it is a metaphor for a battle that has an ever-lasting, self-repeating nature. The chess board is the stage of this violent action ... and the moves of the pieces—like the movements of dance—are artistically intriguing.”

—Sarianne Soikkonen, Chief Curator, Sara Hildén Art Museum

A detail view of a sculpture work by Marcel Dzama titled Marcel's palace at midnight, dated 2022
Marcel Dzama, Marcel's palace at midnight, 2022 (detail)
Marcel Dzama, Marcel's palace at midnight, 2022 (detail)
A detail view of a sculpture work by Marcel Dzama titled Marcel's palace at midnight, dated 2022
Marcel Dzama, Marcel's palace at midnight, 2022 (detail)
Marcel Dzama, Marcel's palace at midnight, 2022 (detail)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, titled Red bishop #2, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Red bishop #2, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
65 3/8 x 35 7/8 x 26 3/4 inches (166 x 91 x 68 cm)

The exhibition also includes several rarely exhibited "life-size chess piece” sculptures that Dzama created for his 2016 installation in the promenade of the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York.

An installation view of Art Series: Marcel Dzama - The tension around which history is built at New York City Ballet in New York, dated 2016. Photo by Erin Baiano

Installation view, Art Series: Marcel Dzama - The tension around which history is built, New York City Ballet, Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, 2016. Photo: Erin Baiano

Installation view, Art Series: Marcel Dzama - The tension around which history is built, New York City Ballet, Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, 2016. Photo: Erin Baiano

Marcel Dzama and Justin Peck, dated 2016. Photo by Erin Baiano

Marcel Dzama and Justin Peck, 2016. Photo: Erin Baiano

Marcel Dzama and Justin Peck, 2016. Photo: Erin Baiano

Marcel Dzama in front of his work in 2016. Photo by Erin Baiano

Marcel Dzama, 2016. Photo: Erin Baiano

Marcel Dzama, 2016. Photo: Erin Baiano

The installation was presented in tandem with The Most Incredible Thing, a one-act ballet by Justin Peck and performed by the New York City Ballet, for which Dzama created the costumes and set design. As curator Sarianne Soikkonen explains, the project was “the largest Gesamtkunstwerk in Dzama’s career so far.”

A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, title Red knight #1, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Red knight #1, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
65 3/4 x 29 1/8 x 24 1/2 inches (167 x 74 x 62 cm)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, Blue bishop #1, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Blue bishop #1, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
65 3/8 x 35 7/8 x 26 3/4 inches (166 x 91 x 68 cm)

These large sculptures recall the forms and motifs of several early twentieth-century artists including those in Fernand Léger's early abstractions, specifically Exit the Ballets Russes, and the "sieves" in the lower register of Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even.

A painting by Fernand Léger titled Exit the Ballets Russes, dated 1914

Fernand Léger, Exit the Ballets Russes, 1914. © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Fernand Léger, Exit the Ballets Russes, 1914. © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

A sculpture work by Marcel Duchamp titled The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), dated 1915–1923

Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915–1923 (detail). © Estate of Richard Hamilton and Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2022

Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915–1923 (detail). © Estate of Richard Hamilton and Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2022

A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, titled Blue pawn #3, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Blue pawn #2, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
48 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8 inches (122 x 48 x 48 cm)

“In Dzama’s own work, such rich and sometimes chaotic backdrops, however dense, never detract from the powerful, moving and almost prophetic undertones of their unfolding scenarios. This is where the artist’s representation of the world and humanity, as well as the joy or havoc it can bestow on nature and those within it, comes to life. ”

—Duro Olowu, curator

A photograph with Marcel Dzama in his Brooklyn studio, 2021. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Marcel Dzama in his Brooklyn studio, 2021. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Marcel Dzama in his Brooklyn studio, 2021. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Inquire about works by Marcel Dzama

A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled We swam in the floods of paradise, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

We swam in the floods of paradise, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper in three (3) parts
Overall: 76 1/8 x 155 1/4 inches (193.5 x 394.5 cm)
Part 1: 76 x 51 3/4 inches (193.2 x 131.5 cm)
Part 2: 76 x 51 3/4 inches (193 x 131.5 cm)
Part 3: 76 1/8 x 51 3/4 inches (193.5 x 131.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled The sisters of truth, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

The sisters of truth, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
77 3/8 x 52 inches (196.5 x 132.1 cm)
Framed: 80 3/4 x 55 1/2 inches (205.1 x 141 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled We can't be good no more, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

We can't be good no more, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
77 3/8 x 52 inches (196.5 x 132.1 cm)
Framed: 80 3/4 x 55 1/2 inches (205.1 x 141 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Midnight's Children, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Midnight's Children, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
76 1/8 x 51 3/4 inches (193.4 x 131.4 cm)
Framed: 79 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches (202 x 140 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Under the light, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Under the light, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
76 1/8 x 51 3/4 inches (193.3 x 131.5 cm)
Framed: 79 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches (202 x 140 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Miracles from the gods trickle down economics, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Miracles from the gods trickle down economics, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
76 1/4 x 51 3/4 inches (193.8 x 131.5 cm)
Framed: 79 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches (202 x 140 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, called Untamed and intractable, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Untamed and intractable, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
76 1/8 x 51 3/4 inches (193.4 x 131.4 cm)
Framed: 79 1/2 x 55 1/4 inches (202 x 140.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Paradise lost cat, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Paradise lost cat, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
51 3/4 x 43 1/4 inches (131.5 x 109.8 cm)
Framed: 55 1/8 x 46 5/8 inches (140 x 118.5 cm)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, Blue bishop #1, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Blue bishop #1, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
65 3/8 x 35 7/8 x 26 3/4 inches (166 x 91 x 68 cm)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, titled Red rook #1, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Red rook #1, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
65 3/8 x 29 1/8 x 29 1/8 inches (166 x 74 x 74 cm)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, titled Blue pawn #3, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Blue pawn #2, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
48 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8 inches (122 x 48 x 48 cm)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, Red pawn #2, dated 2016.

Marcel Dzama

Red pawn #2, 2016
Steel and industrial enamel paint
48 5/8 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8 inches (123.5 x 48 x 48 cm)
A sculpture by Marcel Dzama, titled Marcel's palace at midnight, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Marcel's palace at midnight, 2022
Wood, ceramic, graphite, ink, acrylic, and glue
17 x 28 1/4 x 15 3/4 inches (43.2 x 71.8 x 40 cm)
A mixed media artwork by Marcel Dzama, titled Title to be confirmed (Chess set), dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Chess set, 2022
Wood and acrylic
11 x 18 1/2 x 9 5/8 inches (28 x 47 x 24.3 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled My memories are heavier than a golden cat, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

My memories are heavier than a golden cat, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
29 7/8 x 22 1/8 inches (75.9 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 32 3/4 x 25 inches (83.2 x 63.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Midnight baptism, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Midnight baptism, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
29 7/8 x 22 1/8 inches (75.9 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 32 3/8 x 25 inches (82.2 x 63.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled His music could steal your heart, and drive the animals to dance. (or She would no longer walk, but fly), dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

His music could steal your heart, and drive the animals to dance. (or She would no longer walk, but fly), 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
29 7/8 x 22 1/8 inches (75.9 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 32 3/8 x 25 inches (82.2 x 63.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Holding on too something good, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Holding on too something good, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
22 1/8 x 30 inches (56.2 x 76.2 cm)
Framed: 25 x 32 7/8 inches (63.5 x 83.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled The dance of the fire flies, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

The dance of the fire flies, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
22 1/8 x 30 inches (56.2 x 76.2 cm)
Framed: 25 x 32 7/8 inches (63.4 x 83.4 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled So they say, everything gonna be alright, dated 2021.

Marcel Dzama

So they say, everything gonna be alright, 2021
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
22 1/4 x 30 inches (56.5 x 76.2 cm)
Framed: 25 3/8 x 33 1/8 inches (64.5 x 84.1 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled The beast and his witches with dinner, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

The beast and his witches with dinner, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
24 1/8 x 18 1/8 inches (61.3 x 46 cm)
Framed: 27 x 21 inches (68.5 x 53.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled The golden knights of summer, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

The golden knights of summer, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Framed: 26 7/8 x 21 inches (68.4 x 53.4 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled The ocean was once my friend, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

The ocean was once my friend, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
16 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches (42.2 x 29.2 cm)
Framed: 21 x 16 1/8 inches (53.2 x 40.9 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled At the end of such trials, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

At the end of such trials, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
18 x 12 inches (45.7 x 30.5 cm)
Framed: 22 3/8 x 16 3/8 inches (56.7 x 41.7 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled I'm on my time with everyone, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

I'm on my time with everyone, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches (41.9 x 29.5 cm)
Framed: 21 x 16 1/8 inches (53.2 x 40.9 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Now it's summer, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Now it's summer, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
16 7/8 x 12 inches (42.9 x 30.5 cm)
Framed: 21 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches (54 x 41.8 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled The moon under her feet and a crown of stars, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

The moon under her feet and a crown of stars, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
15 3/4 x 12 inches (40 x 30.5 cm)
Framed: 20 1/8 x 16 3/8 inches (51.2 x 41.6 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled No place to fall, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

No place to fall, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
16 7/8 x 12 1/8 inches (42.9 x 30.8 cm)
Framed: 21 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches (54 x 42 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled Surrendered like fallen rain, dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

Surrendered like fallen rain, 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
29 7/8 x 22 1/8 inches (75.9 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 32 5/8 x 25 inches (83 x 63.5 cm)
A work on paper by Marcel Dzama, titled God save the queen (or The queen from my grandma's biscuit tin), dated 2022.

Marcel Dzama

God save the queen (or The queen from my grandma's biscuit tin), 2022
Pearlescent acrylic ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
29 7/8 x 22 1/8 inches (75.9 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 32 7/8 x 25 inches (83.4 x 63.5 cm)

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          Child of Midnight

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