Laing Art Gallery
The Laing Art Gallery has a strong collection of over 4,000 watercolours dating from the early 17th Century to the present time, including works by John Sell Cotman and William Turner, which has inspired the development of the contemporary collection. The latest acquisition of Marlene Dumas’s painting Back To acknowledges the relevance of watercolour as a contemporary medium.
Marlene Dumas (b. Capetown, South Africa, 1953) studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town and later at de Ateliers and the Institute of Psychology in the Netherlands. She lives and works in Amsterdam. Dumas’s work frequently depicts the abject or disenfranchised; including religious figures, media personalities and children. The small-scale painting, Back To depicts a portrait of the late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse (1983 – 2011) and comes from a series of recent paintings in which Dumas deals with tragic lives and falls from grace and considers how a portrait might betray a state of mind.