Canary Death


Oil on canvas

80 x 70 x 2.5 cm

A white body with a blurred shape and outline is lying down. The title, Canary Death, suggests it is a dead body. However, it is difficult to gauge whether the body is alive or not. The presence of colour on the figure’s mouth makes us believe he is merely sleeping; the viewer is free to make their own interpretation.

Life and death are among the themes studied by Marlene Dumas. Her work is based on the understanding that the endless flow of images that bombards us every day interferes with our perception of ourselves and our way of reading the world. The majority of her work consists of portraits functioning as universal representations of the most extreme emotions such as suffering, ecstasy, fear and despair.

The work of Marlene Dumas was first presented by the Pinault Collection at the "Le Monde vous appartient" (“The World Belongs to You”) exhibition (2011-2012).