Johannes Vermeer Award 2012 for Marlene Dumas
The Dutch state prize for the arts, the Johannes Vermeer Award 2012, has been awarded to artist Marlene Dumas.
The jury made its unanimous decision on account of her exceptional artistic talent and her unrivalled ability to capture human emotions in images. The State Secretary for Culture, Halbe Zijlstra, will present the prize on 29 October in Delft.
Marlene Dumas (born Cape Town, 1953) came to the Netherlands in 1976 to train as a visual artist. She did so at Ateliers 63, with which she is still connected as a guiding artist. In the meantime, she has established herself among the Netherlands’ most admired artists. Her work is exhibited here with great regularity. It has a place in all the most important museum and private collections.
Outside the Netherlands, her work is found in a remarkable number of museums and galleries, from the Centre Pompidou in Paris to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery in London. A European exhibition series is planned for, successively, Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, the Tate Modern in London and Basel’s Beyeler Foundation.
Dumas' work is simultaneously multifaceted and recognizable. She produces paintings, collages and series of drawings. She visualizes her recurring themes – love and death, guilt and innocence, violence and tenderness – in ink on paper or paint, using unexpected colour combinations.
The jury of the Johannes Vermeer Prize 2012 commended Marlene Dumas for her impressive oeuvre. For over 30 years, her exhibitions have reached the highest form of poetic imagination. The jury also admired the way in which Dumas pursues her profession. She never fails to provide a context for her work for exhibitions. Dumas reflects constantly on the art of painting and on being an artist in general. She does so through literary texts and commentaries, and through the lectures that universities and museums frequently ask her to give. Her endless energy is admirable, as is her ability to address a wide variety of subjects. From year to year, she knows how to surprise her audience with new work, impressing again and again through her unique ability.
The Johannes Vermeer Award is the Dutch state prize for the arts, established to honour and encourage outstanding artistic talent. The award includes a cash prize of €100,000, intended for the creation of a special project. The prize may be presented to an artist working in the Netherlands in any creative discipline. It has previously been awarded to opera director Pierre Audi, filmmaker, writer and artist Alex van Warmerdam, and photographer Erwin Olaf.
The prize jury this year consisted of Janine van den Ende (chair), Marie Hélène Cornips, Hans Goedkoop, Erwin Olaf and Omar Munie. The festive presentation of the Johannes Vermeer Award will take place on Monday, 29 October 2012, at the Prinsenhof in Delft.