Marlene Dumas - Old thrills, cheap thrills

Artist: Marlene Dumas
Title: Old thrills, Cheap thrills
Year: 1987
Medium: Ink on paper
Size: 43 cm x 31 cm
Reference: 20554


The work is part of a European private collection. It’s framed with Museum quality UV resistant glass. You are welcome to view the work, for more information look at our website. The work will shipped with insurance and packed very carefully.

Private Collection, USA
Holland Art Gallery, The Netherlands
Acquired from the above by the present owner

A beautiful piece by one of the most successful female artists; Marlene Dumas. You really have to give the work a better look than just a quick glance. If you look closely, you can see that the person in the picture has three legs. Why? Is Dumas trying to paint the movement or is there a deeper layer underneath the legs, distortion is a subject that returns in her work. She painted this work a year before her masterpiece The Human Tripod. She told the following on the subject Three legs:

The human Tripod is not really a man. He is a construct. It is a painting relating the world of drawing with the world of photography. This reminds me of Jeff Wall’s No (1983). There you see a ‘one-legged’ man walking passed a woman in the street. The man is ‘distorted’ through photography. You don’t notice it unless pointed out to you because you know that although you don’t see the other leg, you do see the shadow. So you don’t miss it.

A Picasso painting (more drawing than painting) of a boy in a clown suit with three legs is an attempt at deciding where to put the leg. It’s a formal consideration. We don’t read any other significance into the fact that his painting did not cover up the signs of his drawing, structuring or composing the work. This was still in his blue (or pink) period. It is because we know the history of his art. He is dead now and can thus also be looked at from the end to the beginning. (The Greeks entered death backwards in order to keep their past before them.)

Marlene Dumas was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and raised on her family’s vineyard in the countryside. After beginning her art degree at the University of Cape Town, she decided to continue her studies in the Netherlands: the country where she’d build her career as an artist, and still lives today. In 1995, she represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale.

Dumas is best known as a painter, using both oil and watercolor. She typically works from a reference photograph, which could be purchased, from her own camera roll or collected from print media. Her work focuses on the human body, and though figurative, she often distorts her subjects with loose, painterly brushstrokes to make plain their emotional state. Deeply influenced by growing up during Apartheid, Dumas’ work centers around themes of repression, misogyny, violence and sexuality. Today, Dumas is one of the most expensive living female artists at auction, with her work first selling for over $1 million in 2004.