Marlene Dumas was born in 1953 in Capetown, South Africa, and has been living in Amsterdam for nearly 20 years. Having been brought up in the iconophobic Afrikaans culture, her paintings give us a different, very individual view of pictures.

The exhibition at Portikus is entitled "Models", almost laconically addressing what Dumas' works deal with: an image/reproduction of man which, however, always presents itself as mediated, as already inscribed by the effect the state of representation of man has, and which reveals itself in a dialectics of seeing and being seen, showing and concealing, provocation and embarrassment, a dialectics that Dumas plays through.

"Models", a work from 1994, consists of a hundred portraits on paper, in which Marlene Dumas directly addresses the world of fashion, media, and models. This closed series from the collection of the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, which was created for the exhibition "Du concept à l'image" (Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris), is shown for the first time in Germany at Portikus Frankfurt.

A further focus of the exhibition at Portikus is on a picture series entitled "Magdalena" (1995), with which Marlene Dumas participated in the Dutch pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale. The "Magdalenas" are impressive pictures of female beings who - in their upright statuesqueness - spell out the image of women ranging from the biblical figure of Magdalena to today's "mega models": "It's not the fallen woman nor the temptress I'm after. It's not the babydolls I want nor the Amazons. It's everything mixed together to form a true bastard race." (Marlene Dumas)

Photos: Katrin Schilling