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Marcel Dzama: Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets

Marcel Dzama
Hatje Cantz
Artists' Books
23.5 × 28.5 × 2 cm

Text by Deborah Solomon.

Marcel Dzama first gained fame with his drawings, but has recently expanded his practice to encompass film and three-dimensional work, developing an immediately recognizable language that draws from a diverse range of references and influences, including Dada and Marcel Duchamp. Created in close collaboration with the artist, this publication includes work from his 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner in London, which featured three videos inspired by the game of chess; puppets and masks based on the characters; and drawings, collages, dioramas, paintings and sculptural works. Dzama utilized the architecture of the gallery itself—an eighteenth-century Georgian townhouse—by hanging puppets from a skylight above the five-story building’s central spiral staircase and placing monitors in the windows so videos were viewed from the street. Among the drawings included is the large-scale, four-part Myth, Manifestos and Monsters, in which characters from the films line up alongside figures from the artist’s earlier repertoire. Other drawings, such as two large-scale works executed on piano scroll, depict the characters in poses that mirror their movements and dancing in the films, while a series of new collages feature this imagery in more unexpected contexts. Five small paintings depicting a lone female terrorist seated on a bed emphasize the underlying tension between reality and fiction that characterizes all of the works gathered here.

  1. Marcel Dzama: Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets

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