175: Marlene Dumas, Before Birth, 1989
Before Birth, 1989. oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 15 5/8 in. (49.8 x 39.7 cm) Signed, titled, and dated "before birth, M Dumas, 1989" on the reverse.
PROVENANCE Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam Sale: Phillips de Pury & Co., New York, Contemporary Art Part II, November 17, 2006, lot 134 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
LITERATURE D. van den Boogerd, B. Bloom and M. Casadio, eds., Marlene Dumas, London 1999, p. 60 (illustrated)
Marlene Dumas’s work intrigues the viewer of the complex nature of the resistance it offers. Not only does it resist a description of its painterly and formal properties, owing to the subtlety and calculated randomness of the application of paint, but the ambiguity of the work’s content also resists interpretation. It must also be said that no account of this painter’s work can ever be exhaustive, because each painting is a unique, fused amalgam of expressive marks on the canvas, bursting with all kinds of autobiographical, socio-critical, psychological, ethical, biblical, cultural, and folkloristic references. (M. van Niekerk, ‘Mass for The Painter’, Marlene Dumas \ Intimate Relations, South Africa, 2007, p.111)