South African, b. 1953. The contemporary artist, Marlene Dumas, attained her place among the most influential painters of the 20th and 21st centuries owing to her gestural paintings and their austerity. Through her figurative paintings, Dumas focused on highlighting in her work expressions, the point of contact and the source of emotions. Her portraits are often influenced by and composed of gray and brown recreations of photographs from her personal collection and the print media. Gestural brushstrokes and thin washes of paint are employed to create a distinctly transparent appearance to the compositions. Other than illustrating erotic nude bodies, some even disconcerting, the artist’s oeuvre confronts the challenging themes of sexuality, political oppression, identity and feminism.