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Juliette Dumas

MEGAPTERA

Summer 2019

Image Large Le Grand Bleu

Megaptera  (from the Greek mega-/μεγα- "giant" and ptera/πτερα"wing"), refers to the  large back tails of Whales, a species that was present on Earth 30 million years before us and travels 16,000 miles every year, continuously swimming, while making sonic maps of the ocean floor.  Each individual whale fluke (tail) carries specific markings resulting from attacks by predators, fishing gear entanglements, boat collisions and the continuous thrashing through water.

 

image close up pf Le grand Bleu large

Dumas's work between 2013-2016, after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Villa Arson in Nice France, consisted of highly intellectual ephemeral installations that tried to sound the alarm about the environmental crisis on our planet. Dumas realized that installing ephemeral installations triggered by an anxiety and responsibility for the planet did not help enough to bring a higher level of consciousness.

After No Safe Harbor (Dumas's first Solo Exhibition in 2016 with the gallery), Dumas operated a 180 degrees shift in her thinking for her second Solo Exhibition, ANGELS, 2018. Dumas's epiphany brought her to see that human thought has the power to create, and that instead of fueling an already bad situation with ideas of collapse, she wanted her work to project strength and hope for the future. She started seeking ways to replace the feeling of fear by the feeling of love, resilience, gratitude and joy.

 

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Juliette Dumas’s large-scale paintings of whales’ flukes manage to refresh a subject that has borne more than its share of sentimentality.

For an artist to address the whale, a subject that’s been romanticized for two full centuries and exposed to every level of public discourse from international litigation to grade school posters, would require a fresh perspective, which is what I believe Juliette Dumas has managed to summon.

- Peter Malone, Hyperallergic, April 2018

Dumas discovered Ho'ponopono, the Ancient Hawaiian Practice of Forgiveness to restore balance. She searched for an “icon” image and naturally gravitated to the Humpback Whale who embodies the energy of love and resilience. The Hawaiians call them Koholas, the guardians of sacred energy, and regard them as deities. 

Dumas started working on her "Whale Fluke Paintings" series in New York City from late 2016 to 2018. First, with smaller diptychs of the whale flukes which later evolved to be life-sized. During that period, actual whales were starting to gather in the City's harbor in numbers never seen before. Dumas did not have that knowedge then, and only discovered that fact long time after her exhibition took place. Hence the extraordinary relevance of her work which was created at that time.

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text image left

The scars of a life find their way from the depths of the abyss, inscribed on the fluke of the leviathan, into our space. Dumas chooses the tail of the cetacea as her muse, an appendage that is already used by marine biologists to identify individual animals. The tail is a tabula rasa covered with the marks of shark attacks and fisherman's hooks. Every one is different.

The artist retranscribes this natural calligraphy onto a layer of clay and pigment, where it takes on a glyphic quality like the images and markings on Paleolithic cave walls, undecipherable but still dripping with meaning. While monochromatic, the depth of the scratches in the clay surface hold the eye and lead the viewer through the artist's narrative: all three monumental Whale Flukepaintings, Le Grand Bleu, Night, and Large Whale (all 2018), are interpretations of the same creature, a fact that becomes apparent to us as we learn to read flukes.

- William Corwin, Delicious Line, April 2018

image whales GUEIT

© Photography by Valerie Gueit 

Juliette Dumas’s large-scale paintings of whales’ flukes manage to refresh a subject that has borne more than its share of sentimentality.

For an artist to address the whale, a subject that’s been romanticized for two full centuries and exposed to every level of public discourse from international litigation to grade school posters, would require a fresh perspective, which is what I believe Juliette Dumas has managed to summon.

- Peter Malone, Hyperallergic, April 2018

image Flamme
Text Dumas Rio Negro manifesto

Dumas is foremost a painter by formation. An important factor in her premise is that she subscribes to the “Rio Negro Manifesto” created in Brazil in 1978 by French art critic Pierre Restany while he travelled the Amazon river. The manifesto he wrote, with two other Brazilian artists, is all about “Art for Nature” and about raising Consciousness about Earth and the Natural World Through Art. In short, Dumas paintings are a study of the language of Nature, she is about raising consciousness.

Juliette Dumas

Megaptera

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JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Night), 2018
Clay and pigments on hand made paper mounted on canvas
Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. (152.40 x 365.76 cm)
JD078
$ 30,000
 

Inquire


JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Flame) II, 2019
Clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas
23.62h x 47.24w x 1.57d in
60h x 120w x 4d cm
JD135

$ 8,500
 

Inquire

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Jonathan Livingston Seagull), 2018
Clay and pigments on thick paper mounted on canvas
Two panels: each 48 x 48 inches, overall dimensions 48 x 96 inches
JD102
$ 15,000

Inquire

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Le Grand Bleu), 2018
clay, pigments and gouache on paper mounted on canvas
Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. JD106
 

Inquire

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale fluke (Lascaux), 2018
Cerra colla on canvas mounted on canvas 9.25h x 18.90w x 1.26d in
23.50h x 48w x 3.20d cm
JD110

 

Inquire


JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Le Vieux Prince), 2018
Clay, gouache and ink on paper mounted on canvas
9h x 18.25w x 1.26d in
22.86h x 46.35w x 3.20d cm
JD085
 

Inquire

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Night), 2018
Clay and pigments on hand made paper mounted on canvas
Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. (152.40 x 365.76 cm)
JD078
$ 30,000
 


JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Flame) II, 2019
Clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas
23.62h x 47.24w x 1.57d in
60h x 120w x 4d cm
JD135

$ 8,500
 

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Jonathan Livingston Seagull), 2018
Clay and pigments on thick paper mounted on canvas
Two panels: each 48 x 48 inches, overall dimensions 48 x 96 inches
JD102
$ 15,000

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Le Grand Bleu), 2018
clay, pigments and gouache on paper mounted on canvas
Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. JD106
 

JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale fluke (Lascaux), 2018
Cerra colla on canvas mounted on canvas 9.25h x 18.90w x 1.26d in
23.50h x 48w x 3.20d cm
JD110

 


JULIETTE DUMAS
Whale Fluke (Le Vieux Prince), 2018
Clay, gouache and ink on paper mounted on canvas
9h x 18.25w x 1.26d in
22.86h x 46.35w x 3.20d cm
JD085