Marcel Dzama, ‘Untitled’, 1997, Waddington's
Marcel Dzama, ‘Untitled’, 1997, Waddington's

Marcel Dzama is a multidisciplinary artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is best known for his ink drawings and dioramas. He first came to the public’s attention in the 1990s after he co-founded the Royal Art Lodge, a collaborative Canadian artist group which specialized in small-scale drawings and paintings. He was active with the collective until it disbanded in 2008.

In his solo career, Dzama has focused on making small coloured drawings in a muted palette of reds, greens and browns. His subject matter ranges - in the same image one may see cartoon characters, ghosts and animals, alongside political figures, astronauts, and scientists; all equally comic and bizarre. Most recently, he has begun to embrace film and sculpture as he continues his practice in New York.

Dzama’s work has been exhibited and collected by major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), and Tate Gallery (London).
Courtesy of Waddington's

Signature: Signed; inscribed "Now my luck may have died and my love may be cold but with you forever I'll stay" and dated /97 on the reverse

Private Collection, Toronto

About Marcel Dzama

Often compared to outsider artist Henry Darger, Marcel Dzama’s small ink and watercolor drawings of hybrid characters, like humans with antlers or trees with hands, resemble story illustrations. Interspersed with a range of references including Surrealist film, Dadaism and Soviet-era agitprop, his work more often recalls folk and craft storytelling traditions, showing that simple narrative can be an intricate, compelling contemporary art-making strategy. Dzama also works in sculpture and video and has experimented with puppetry and costumes. His work has been used on the covers of a number of music albums for bands such as They Might Be Giants, Beck, and The Weakerthans; and his costume designs have been seen in music videos, including the video for the Bob Dylan’s When the Deal Goes Down.

Canadian, b. 1974, Winnipeg, Canada, based in Brooklyn, New York