Thursday, November 25, 2010

Artist Marcel Dzama, Leads the Winnipeg Art Scene

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal hosts Survey of Marcel Dzama's Outrageous Art

MONTREAL.- While Vancouver and Toronto may have boasted the most vibrant art scenes in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, Winnipeg took over in the 2000s, spurred on by artist Marcel Dzama. He quickly carved out an international reputation for his unclassifiable, disconcerting art that reveals a fanciful, anachronistic world. Marcel Dzama – title (Of Many Turns), which offers a critical survey of his haunting yet outrageous work, is the largest solo exhibition of Dzama’s art by a public gallery. It will be presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal from February 4 to April 25, 2010.

Of Many Turns
The exhibition contains some sixty pieces produced over the last three years, including several new works specially created for this event. It comprises a sketchbook, drawings, collages, dioramas, paintings and films, and examines the artist’s favourite themes: nostalgia, early modernism and the relationship between irony and cynicism, politics and subjectivity.

The title Aux mille tours (Of Many Turns) is taken from the prologue to the Odyssey, where Homer introduces Ulysses as “Polytropos,” a man of many twists and turns. Like Ulysses, Dzama’s art is elusive, prolific and multifaceted. His works draw on a rich repertoire of artistic and literary references, from prewar children’s book illustration and Marcel Duchamp to James Joyce and Dante. He also often refers to childhood experiences in his hometown, Winnipeg: landscape, wildlife, the family farm.

Dzama’s strange works elicit a feeling of ambivalence as, nightmare-like, they present recognizable elements in disturbing, violent or even erotic surroundings. His world has something surrealistic about it, like the famous Goya etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.

You’re sure to be swept away on a most extraordinary odyssey.

Marcel Dzama was born in Winnipeg in 1974. He began drawing his own comics as a child. He took up painting at high school and enrolled at the University of Manitoba in 1996. With some fellow students, he founded The Royal Art Lodge, a group of artists who meet weekly to create musical performances and collective works, and at the same time pursue solo careers. While he was still at university, Dzama caught the eye of the Richard Heller Gallery, in Santa Monica, California, with an exhibition at the Fate Gallery in Winnipeg. In 2000, Winnipeg’s Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art organized a one-man show of Dzama’s works, called More Famous Drawings, that travelled across Canada, with a stop at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montréal. Dzama was featured here again as part of the CIAC Biennale in 2002.

Marcel Dzama has had a number of prestigious exhibitions around the world. His works can be found in the collections of such major museums as MoMA and the Guggenheim in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the Tate Modern in London. The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is especially proud of its acquisition last year of a spectacular work by the artist: a fresco of 300 ceramic sculptures titled On the Banks of the Red River, 2008, and shown here for the first time. Dzama has lived and worked in New York since 2004. He is represented by the David Zwirner Gallery, New York.

Visit the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal at :

Appreciation is given to the editor of Art Knowledge News, for permission to reproduce the above article. Please click here to be taken to

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for posting your comments.
ATTENTION SPAMMERS: Comments with links to other websites, will not be accepted.

A message for anonymous posters: Comments will be accepted provided they are thoughtful and articulate.

Reciprocating comments between posters will not be accepted. Sorry - I have no intention of giving readers the opportunity to engage in flame wars. It won't happen.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.