Marcel Dzama

Marcel Dzama

Exhibition: Jul 9 – Sep 13, 1998

At ArtPace, Dzama has wallpapered the gallery with hundreds of his signature page-size drawings, noted for their disconnected narratives and psychological tension. Dzama depicts a world of isolated adults with glazed-over expressions interacting with other figures or forms in space. The images merge children’s sensibility with adult culture—innocent situations charged with sexuality and violence.

Like many artists of his generation, Dzama approaches his work with a dark sense of humor and a savvy vocabulary of contemporary media culture. The non-linear arrangement of the drawings recalls the experience of “channel-surfing” while watching television—a fast paced barrage of images, all linked by their flatness and uniformity. The combination of the rhythm of the installation with the illustrative precision of the artist’s hand heightens the disturbing visual experience of reading the stunted narratives and experiences of the drawing’s subjects.


Marcel Dzama

Winnipeg, Canada

Marcel Dzama was born in 1974 in Winnipeg, Canada, where he lives and works. Dzama received his B.F.A. in 1997 from the University of Manitoba. Since graduating, Dzama has been included in numerous group shows at venues including the Plug In Gallery, an alternative space in Winnipeg, and The Drawing Center in New York. In 1998, he had critically acclaimed solo shows at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, and David Zwirner Gallery in New York. He is a member of the collaborative art team, The Royal Art Lodge and plays in the band Albatross.
Dzama’s small, quirky drawings have caught the attention of many in the international art world over the past year. Los Angeles Times critic David Pagel described Dzama’s work as “simultaneously sweet and demented.” Dzama’s quirky cartoon-like drawings extend the trend in contemporary drawing of examining social narrative, exemplified by Mike Kelley, Raymond Pettibon and the late Martin Kippenberger.

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