MARLENE DUMAS, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, 2015
101 x 101 cm
Habotai silk scarf, original box, card
published by Tate Modern, London, England
MARLENE DUMAS, For Whom the Bell Tolls, 2008. In this painting – here in print – Marlene Dumas shows interest in emotional expressions that are often represented in cinema, and rarely in contemporary painting. For this she applied a variety of drip painting techniques and used a film still of Ingrid Bergman experiencing sorrow and mourning. The two emblematic black bird images in the eyes add an extra eery and dramatic touch to it all.
The tolling mentioned in the title of this work refers to funeral bells. One of the themes Marlene Dumas is interested in is death and here in the moment when death is very near to someone, and ‘therefore to us all’ as in the words of John Donne is suggested: “Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that…”
John Donne (1572-1631)