Marcel Dzama: Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets

ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Oct 9, 2013 5:10PM
Marcel Dzama's 2012 work on paper, "As innocent as grace itself," is reproduced from Hatje Cantz's substantial new monograph on the artist,Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets, which accompanied a show at David Zwirner, London. Deborah Solomon writes, "Dzama, it might be said, has always been a poet of conclaves, of invented worlds governed by their own rules and codes of behavior. He is best-known for pristine ink and- wash drawings that have the chaste, innocent aura of storybook illustrations but attest to the sad and abusive undersides of societies and institutions. In his alternate universes, individuals are often made to endure the bruising authority of an unnamed state. His early work, with its profusion of khaki greens, beiges, and browns, deployed what might be called a military palette—the muted, muddy colors of uniforms and boots. It was a fitting camouflage for a world that at times resembled nothing so much as an internment camp. The startling fact is that Dzama’s new work… has shed some of its former menace and taken a turn for the cheerful. The mood is festive and carnivalesque and his palette has grown lush with luxuriant reds and blues. There are fewer flying bats. (I counted only three.) So too, there are fewer rifle-toting thugs, perhaps because gun violence in America has escalated to unbearable proportions and become a subject better tackled by the U.S. Congress and new legislation than by the reverie of art."
ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
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