PAE: $2,500,000-$3,500,000
Marlene Dumas, Colorfields
Marlene Dumas, Colorfields, signed, titled and dated "colorfields 1997 MDumas" on the reverse, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 59 1/16 in. (200 x 150 cm.) Painted in 1997. © Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others.

Marlene Dumas (b. 1953) is a South African born, Dutch-based painter known for her paintings of heads and figures, which she started in 1984. She uses photographs and images from magazines and newspapers to create her paintings about birth, sex, death, race, guilt, and violence. Depicting freakish gazes rendered with slippery brushwork and mute colors, Dumas charges her work with a psychological heaviness, which in turn creates a sense of staged emotion and heightened drama, one that might try to beg sympathy from the viewer. The subjects she depicts are typically executed in a way that embraces the unexpected and surrounds the work with ambiguity. Children are vaguely sinister (“Die Baba (The Baby)”, 1985, “The Painter”, 1994), dead people turn ‘portraiture’ on its side (“Dead Marilyn”, 2008), and expressionist brushstrokes (historically considered masculine) are radically sexualized and feminized (“Feather Stola”, 2000). Her paintings provoke the viewer and at times her use of sensationalism seems overdone. Marlene Dumas is represented by David Zwirner. See also Luc Tuymans, William Kentridge, Neo Rauch, Georg Baselitz, and Francesco Clemente.

Video: Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave, From: MoMA.