Marcel Dzama: The Course of Human History Personified

Texts by Jason Rosenfeld and Jason Tougaw

Published on the occasion of his fourth solo exhibition at David Zwirner in 2005, this beautifully designed and produced catalogue—with essays by curator and art historian Jason Rosenfeld and writer Jason Tougaw—features Marcel Dzama’s most recent drawings, costumes, sculptures, and notebook pages. The title, The Course of Human History Personified, is borrowed from the poet Dante and recalls both grandiose artistic and literary cycles from the nineteenth century such as the New York Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole’s five-painting The Course of Empire of 1836, where nature plays as large a role as humans. In Dzama’s art, personification has always been the main leitmotif—imagined characters and trees and beasts assume base human characteristics. The catalogue also includes a unique fold out designed by the artist.


Publisher: David Zwirner

Artists: Marcel Dzama

Contributors: Jason Rosenfeld, Jason Tougaw

Designer: Giampietro+Smith

Printer: Transcontinental Litho Acme, Montreal, Canada

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 8 x 10 in (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Pages: 96

Reproductions: 50 color

ISBN: 9780976913610

Retail: $60 US & Canada | £36 | €49

Status: Not Available

Marcel Dzama

The work of Marcel Dzama (b. 1974, Winnipeg) is characterized by an immediately recognizable visual language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences, including Dada and Marcel Duchamp. While he 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.

All Marcel Dzama books

Jason Rosenfeld

Jason Rosenfeld is Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College, New York. His academic interests include British art, specifically Victorian, modern architecture, and contemporary art. He was a co-curator of the exhibition, The Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York (1995), and contributed to the Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2003). He co-curated Millais at Tate Britain, London, which travelled to Amsterdam, Fukuoka and Tokyo (2007–9), and was co-curator of the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-garde at Tate Britain, London (2012).

Jason Tougaw

Jason Tougaw is a writer, literature professor, and DJ who lives between New York City and the Catsksills. He’s currently finishing a memoir, The One You Get, a portrait of the artist and his family as social and biological organisms learning how to live. “Aplysia californica,” an excerpt from the memoir, is published in Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing up(Da Capo Press). Tougaw is also the author of Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel (Routledge) and editor, with Nancy K. Miller, of Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community (University of Illinois Press). He has published essays in a/b: Autobiography Studies, JAC, The Scholar and the Feminist, and Feed magazine. He teaches literature and writing at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. You can hear his weekly radio show, “The Mixtape,” on 90.5 WJFF Radio Catskill.