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Daily Art Moment: Marcel Dzama

“I draw during the day, but my ideas come at night.” —Marcel Dzama

Just before PAM closed temporarily, our team installed this large new acquisition by Marcel Dzama and not many people have had the chance to see it yet. We look forward to sharing this surreal life-size diorama with you soon!

On the Banks of the Red River depicts an eerie nighttime scene: hunters with rifles pointed skyward take aim at birds, bats, and large disembodied heads. The men stand amidst fallen prey in a grisly scene as others swirl overhead. This installation includes nearly 300 painted ceramic sculptures displayed in a stage-like environment, reminiscent of an old-fashioned puppet theater.

Influenced by the storytelling power of myths, Dzama creates worlds populated by human, animal, and hybrid figures that reflect upon our abuses of the natural world. On the Banks of the Red River conjures a bygone moment frozen in time, yet lacks a contextualizing backdrop. Instead, we are left to think about violent moments of the past and present and what happens in waking life and in dreams.

Sara Krajewski, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Marcel Dzama (Canadian, born 1974). On the Banks of the Red River, 2008. Wood, glazed ceramic sculptures, metal, fabric. Variable dimensions. Gift of Charlie and Amanda Kitchings, 2018.88.1a-bbbbbbbbb