fbpx

Marlene Dumas: Against the Wall

Known for her unique approach to canvas and her thought-provoking subject matter, Marlene Dumas is widely considered one of today’s most important painters. Dumas’s paintings often display a kind of ambiguity of meaning, employing visual “traps” to show how the mind is quick to assume what is being presented in a given image. Her latest works explore the (in)famous walls of this unstable region of the Middle East. The large-scale canvas, The Wall, at first appears to present a scene at the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall), an important site of religious pilgrimage located in the Old City of Jerusalem. However, Dumas’s painting is in fact based upon a photograph from a newspaper that portrayed a group of Orthodox Jews on their way to pray at Rachel’s Tomb. The men are shown against the backdrop of an Israeli security fence outside of Bethlehem. While the paintings in Against the Wall comprise a critique of what is sometimes referred to by opponents of the West Bank barrier as the “apartheid wall,” they ultimately lament the failure of co-existence and the tragic human condition of segregation.

pp. 72; hardcover. Publisher: Radius Books, Santa Fe, 2010.

ISBN: 9781934435281| 1934435287

ID: 12558

Product Description

Known for her unique approach to canvas and her thought-provoking subject matter, Marlene Dumas is widely considered one of today’s most important painters. Dumas’s paintings often display a kind of ambiguity of meaning, employing visual “traps” to show how the mind is quick to assume what is being presented in a given image. Her latest works explore the (in)famous walls of this unstable region of the Middle East. The large-scale canvas, The Wall, at first appears to present a scene at the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall), an important site of religious pilgrimage located in the Old City of Jerusalem. However, Dumas’s painting is in fact based upon a photograph from a newspaper that portrayed a group of Orthodox Jews on their way to pray at Rachel’s Tomb. The men are shown against the backdrop of an Israeli security fence outside of Bethlehem. While the paintings in Against the Wall comprise a critique of what is sometimes referred to by opponents of the West Bank barrier as the “apartheid wall,” they ultimately lament the failure of co-existence and the tragic human condition of segregation.

×