* 1953 Kapstadt
Marlene Dumas, one of the most influential contemporary figurative artists, was born in Cape Town in 1953. She grew up in the South African town Jacobsdal and enrolled at Cape Town University in 1972. She completed her studies with a B.A. in 1975.
Afterwards Marlene Dumas moved to the Netherlands, in order to continue her studies in psychology and painting. From 1976 to 1978 Marlene Dumas worked in Haarlem before she relocated to Amsterdam. Her first exhibition at the acclaimed Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum took place in 1978. Works by Marlene Dumas were shown along with works by René Daniels and Ansuya Blom. In 1984 she had her first solo show at a museum, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and as of the late 1980s the career of Marlene Dumas took off. Numerous international exhibitions made her oeuvre known to a broader audience.
Marlene Dumas has always remained true to figuration. Her expressive portraits and pictures of figures, made after photographs, display the whole range of human emotions and bring up oppressive questions from a socio-political context. Her impressive paintings and works on paper have long become classics of contemporary art. Some of her works have even attained a status of modern icons.
In 2001 the Centre Pompidou showed a first retrospective of her works on paper ("Nom de Personne"), it was also shown at the New York New Museum and at De Pont Museum in Tilburg ("Name no Names"). Comprehensive show of all genres were shown in Japan ("Broken White"), South Africa ("Intimate Relations") and the USA between 2007 and 2009. In the U.S.A. The show was titled "Measuring Your Own Grave" hosted by the Museum for Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at The Menil in Houston. Marlene Dumas has received many awards, among them the Dutch State Prize for Fine Arts named after Jan Vermeer in 2012.
Marlene Dumas lives and works in Amsterdam.