press release

Marcel Dzama
The Moon is Following Me
21.01. - 06.03.2021

Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp is presenting the first solo show by Marcel Dzama (°1974, Winnipeg; lives and works in New York) with the gallery. The show, titled The Moon is Following Me includes a wide selection of drawings, sculptures, dioramas and a film, and marks the artist’s first solo presentation in Belgium.

Drawing equally from folk vernacular as from art-historical and contemporary influences, Dzama’s work visualizes a universe of childhood fantasies and otherworldly fairy tales. His image repertoire includes a wide range of art-historical quotations, ranging from ballet costumes by Oskar Schlemmer or Francis Picabia, for example, to direct references to Francisco de Goya, Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys.

Dzama is also known for responding to current events with art. His Instagram feed is a treasure trove of timely drawings, from a tribute to the late justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg over a watercolor of President Trump with a golf club painted directly onto the front page of the New York Times to the recently tiny owl found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a drawing that is included in the show.

For this exhibition, Marcel Dzama started a series of drawings with more hopeful themes. "Because the Trump years were so traumatizing.” he says. Most of the work is made during lockdown both because of the pandemic but also because of rioting after George Floyd’s death. "We had a curfew here. I did a show at David Zwirner gallery in Paris where few of the drawings were there together with the series on the Pink moon, coming from the image of the moon I saw one night with my son through his telescope, it was beautiful."

Chess is a recurring motif for the artist who finds inspiration in its intricate balance between improvisation and predetermination. While the game serves as an underlying theme in many of his drawings and dioramas, Dzama’s film, entitled Dance Floor Dracula, Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, more directly centers on a whimsical chess game that takes the form of a ballet, featuring collaborators Amy Sedaris as Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon as David Zwirner. By using chess as a structural device, the artist makes reference to the early twentieth-century avant-garde artists Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, who employed the game’s special set of rules and moves in their work as metaphors for larger questions regarding free will, chance, and strategy. Integrating this artistic precedent with a subtle, more contemporary nod to the two-party political system in the United States, Dzama’s works are simultaneously familiar and mysterious, humorous and intense, chaotic and orderly.

Marcel Dzama is born in °1974, Winnipeg, Canada and currently lives and works in New York, US. Work by the artist is held in museum collections worldwide, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Gallery, London.

The show The Moon is Following Me by Marcel Dzama is on show at Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp from 21 January to 6 March 2021