press release

If we get to heaven and meet the Big Bright Light what will it be - the eyes of the saints or the flash of a camera?

Frith Street Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Marlene Dumas. This is the first solo exhibition of Dumas' work in the UK since MD-Light at Frith Street Gallery in 1999.

I'm calling this show 'The Second Coming'. Perhaps it sounds insincere. Does anybody who knows the Bible really still believe the Messiah will actually come down to earth (again)? Yet, I do, more than often work with religious connotations. Remember my '(In search of) the perfect lover?' Yes it also has sexual connotations (another common element of most of my work.) Remember my MD-light ? If these attempts towards pleasure made way for anxiety and fear in my shows Time and Again (2002) and Suspect (Venice 2003) I could not let it end this way. I had to rise up and come again and insist that whatever life is about, you can't make art if you're dead.

Yes, I've been inspired by Caravaggio's 'Santa Lucia' (1606) for my portrait called 'Lucy' and by one of Gerhard Richter's magazine sources from the series '18 Oct 1988', for 'Stern' and by an anonymous Russian for my painting called 'Alfa', but identifying the subject is not the key to the content. To understand what the work means is to look at the relationship between the technological source material (i.e.: photographic models) and the meta-physical imagination (of the artist) it's associative rather than descriptive, it's about the physical qualities of the actual works coming together in the cultural space of the exhibition.

"For us to resurrect or make new meanings from the ashes of the old, you'll have to come again, too. " Marlene Dumas


Marlene Dumas - The Second Coming