Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner
If you’ve been to the New York City Ballet recently, you will have seen Marcel Dzama’s amazing illustrations and dioramas throughout the lobby. Plus the oh-so-rude polka-dotting of the normally sedate, buxom marble sculptures. This is just Dzama’s month, because he also has an exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery that he did in partnership with Raymond Pettibon called Forgetting the Hand.
This marks the first time the two artists have collaborated; they did so by swapping their unfinished drawings to be completed by the other! There’s a term for this: the “exquisite corpse” method. It means that a partner is only given portions of an otherwise concealed drawing to work on. In several works, it’s almost impossible to tell who made what, which indicates how both strove to assimilate the other’s vision or anticipate his response.
Dzama is additionally previewing a new video inspired by the endeavor, titled A Flower of Evil, which features the actress, author, and comedian Amy Sedaris as the artist himself, as well as several other characters in costumes made by Dzama. While Dzama has become known for his prolific drawings with their distinctive palette of muted colors, in recent years, the artist has expanded his practice to encompass sculpture, painting, film, and dioramas.
My favorite of their joint works are the sketches drawn on notepad paper from various locations – the pad left in the hotel room at the Chateau Marmont, or the tear-off New York City Ballet notepads from their offices.