Marcel Dzama


Award for Outstanding Achievement as an Artist

Marcel Dzama -  Photo -  Agaton StromMarcel Dzama‘s practice is characterized by an immediately recognizable visual language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences such as Duchamp, Schlemmer, the Ballet Russes and Dada. While seduced into thinking we recognize all that is apparent the work resists straightforward interpretation in its allegorical and dream-like scenarios.

In recommending Dzama for The Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Art Award, the jury noted that an expansive range and depth of narrative has emerged since he first became known for his now distinctive drawings. Evident in pieces made across media, including recent large-scale ceramic tableaux and ambitious films, Dzama’s work reveals a tougher, more politicized reading combining personal histories aligned with the strategies of early modernism. Such beguiling sophistication foiled by the unpredictable, lends a nuanced, multi-layered air to his subjects while elucidating a resonance with our contemporary world.

Born in 1974 in Winnipeg, Dzama now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Dzama has exhibited widely, in 2010 Aux mille tours/Of Many Turns, a major survey of the artist’s work presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada. Other recent solo exhibitions includeCon razón o sin ella/With or Without Reason, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain; A Touch of Evil/Un toque de maldad, Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ), Zapopan, Mexico; World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Louis, Missouri (all 2012); A Game of Chess, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; The Never Known into the ForgottenKunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (both 2011); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Tree with Roots, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2006); andThe Lotus Eaters, Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2005). A comprehensive monograph of Dzama’s work produced and designed in collaboration with the artist, will be published in fall 2013.

* Photo – Agaton Strom