Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of recent and new work by Marcel Dzama, on view at the gallery's 24 Grafton Street space in London. Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets features three videos inspired by the game of chess, as well as puppets and masks based on the characters, drawings, collages, dioramas, and sculptural works.
Dzama has become known for his prolific drawings, which are characterized by their distinctive palette of muted browns, grays, greens, and reds. In recent years, the artist has expanded his practice to encompass three-dimensional work and film and has developed an immediately recognizable language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences.
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Created in close collaboration with the artist, this richly illustrated catalogue accompanies his 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner in London. As writer Deborah Solomon notes in her accompanying essay, “Naturally, it is a futile endeavor to try and extract anything as compact as a moral or a single storyline from the twisty symbolism of Dzama’s art. But you can say, at the very least, that his latest work is suffused with a sense of nostalgia for the European avant garde in its heyday—it invites you to enter a world filled with costumes and masks and erotic play, with chessboard personalities dancing their heads off, with the sort of brazen gestures in which the Dadaists and the Surrealists specialized. To be sure, the old avant garde is long gone. It isn’t coming back. What Dzama offers us in its place is a fairy tale about a world where art once tried to be pathbreaking and revolutionary, and which lives on today as a story we tell and re-tell about a lost civilization.” Published by David Zwirner / Hatje Cantz.