Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Marlene Dumas

Why do you think art magazines do that?

They do it because they don’t care about painting. Most people in the art scene have no sense of what a painting is. That’s why art magazines have such terrible layouts, because they look at a painting as if it is a photograph, and it becomes a photograph in the reproduction. They can’t say they understand anything about painting. - Marlene Dumas
Not sure if anyone caught the Marlene Dumas interview on ArtInfo a couple of weeks back but it ha some tasty bits on being a painter and the frustrations she has with the art media as an artist. Dumas has taken over for Alex Katz Chair at Cooper Union and for my money one the greatest living painters. She's one of only a few painters that make me feel actual jealousy when veiwing particular works. Funny how she gets no play here in the States?? ...a travesty really.

Dumas on Teaching:

I see teaching as a very important thing, and not only because I teach them things, but also because we have a dialogue, and you see what you really want. You find things out. I still believe in the Socratic dialogue. Art is really something that you learn from being around people. My own experience in South Africa was that the art school was part of the university, so I learned such a lot in general, not just about painting. I am from a generation that seems to want to copyright their inventions, but I am not one of those artists who think they invented everything. You are part of a tradition. It’s the same as when people write books—they have read other books that they relate to. Painting is part of a visual tradition. The worst kind of artist is one who thinks they’re so wonderful because they don’t understand that there have been all these wonderful things done already, and that you exist in relation to that. Just because an artist from the past is dead doesn’t mean the work is dead. Art is something that relates you to the past, and hopefully to the present as well.

check the interview.

image: The Painter - Marlene Dumas


Anonymous said...

Bravo - Go Dumas!

Looks like Cooper Union will keep the torch alive. They made a great choice with her. Thanks for the post.

highlowbetween said...

I know. Its exciting that she's here - at least sometimes. Those students are lucky. Maybe we can crash the place one day??