Jane Shpak

Marlene Dumas

Class of: 2024

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Multimedia

Faculty: Seminar: Emily Raabe / Studio: Lynn Breslin

Prompt: Throughout this project, we were asked to create a journal/sketchbook hybrid of a specific artist. The artist was chosen according to a specific art movement within a time period from the beginning of the 20th century to the end. For example, I chose Marlene Dumas. I learned about her work from the 70s and 80s during the height of the Neo-Expressionism movement. We were instructed to include pertinent details about events in the artists life that might have influenced their work or world views such as war or civil unrest/movements. We worked in groups and did multiple peer reviews throughout the completion of the book in order to ensure that we were capturing our movement, time period and artist respectfully and carefully.

The journal I created in Marlene Dumas’s name was an exploration of her career, her life and the world of the 70’s and 80’s. Like contemporary times, there are countless important social movements within and outside the art world. My intention was to create a journal in her voice to describe what moving to the Netherlands was like when it was being described as “the armpit of the world” while leaving behind Apartheid in her home country of South Africa. Her identity as a white South African woman was an important topic to explore in this journal as it influenced many of her paintings and drawings at the beginning of her career. I did this by putting together journal entries, grocery lists, and notes along with digitally manipulated images of her work to create something that embodied the time and herself.