William Shakespeare × Marcel Dzama: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Text by William Shakespeare. Artwork by Marcel Dzama. Introduction by Leslie Jamison 

Set in an enchanted forest, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the ideal subject for artist Marcel Dzama, whose work frequently references dreams, fairy tales, and mythical worlds.

Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Shakespeare’s celebrated romantic comedy intertwines multiple narratives under the influence of transformation and witchcraft. The play is often staged with actors wearing animal masks, an aspect that appeals particularly to Dzama, whose work is characterized by the fusion of human and animal, fantasy and reality.

As the second title in David Zwirner Books’s Seeing Shakespeare series, this book revisits this ultimate fairy tale through the eyes of a contemporary artist who feels a special affinity for its imagery.


Publisher: David Zwirner Books

Artists: Marcel Dzama, Seeing Shakespeare

Contributors: Leslie Jamison

Designer: Sarah Schrauwen

Printer: VeronaLibri, Verona

Publication Date: 2021

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 6 × 9 in | 15.2 × 22.9 cm

Pages: 144

Reproductions: 26 color

ISBN: 9781644230442

Retail: $30 | £22

Status: 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

Seeing Shakespeare

Seeing Shakespeare, a new series from David Zwirner Books, brings the world’s leading contemporary artists together with William Shakespeare. Featuring covers designed by the artists and illustrations throughout, these editions of Shakespeare’s plays are created with a whole new generation in mind, one of readers and art lovers alike.

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Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison is the New York Times best-selling author of The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath (2018), a critical memoir; two essay collections, The Empathy Exams (2014) and Make It Scream, Make It Burn (2019); and a novel, The Gin Closet (2010). She is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University.