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Marcel Dzama: Crossing the Line

Contributions by Laila Pedro

Lying deep within the urban metropolis of Hong Kong, Happy Valley is one of the most iconic racecourses in the world. It is also the chief source of inspiration for a new body of work by American artist Marcel Dzama. 

Jockeys ride through waves and cathedrals, Chinese symbols pulled from racing paraphernalia adorn the edges of paper, and bats swoop, hunting for prey. Dzama’s distinct visions of the racetrack come alive through a series of large-scale paintings and drawings, transposing imagery from his prolific oeuvre into this adrenaline-filled sporting arena. His new works reflect on the culture of horseracing and how the track has become not only a symbol of sport, but also of commerce, class, and wealth. 

The publication includes a conversation between Dzama and Laila Pedro. Published on the occasion of his solo exhibition at David Zwirner, Hong Kong in 2019, Marcel Dzama: Crossing the Line is available in both English only and bilingual English/traditional Chinese editions. 

“Gone are the days of [Dzama’s] minimal works at part of the Royal Art Lodge; today sees dense, complicated, highly detailed works that touch on contemporary issues but almost appear out of a fairytale.”

– Staff, Juxtapoz

“Marcel Dzama mixes mythology, wit and politics in a new series of paintings.”

– Eliza Williams, Creative Review

“His playful paintings draw from a mix of folk vernacular and art history as well as contemporary influences, weaving fantasy worlds on his canvases that look at the relationships between human action and motivation, the real and the subconscious.”

– Evelyn Lok, Lifestyle Asia

“Canadian artist Marcel Dzama has impressed gallery-goers around the world with his fantastical drawings and paintings that are often inspired by mythology, folklore and fairytales.”

– Oliver Giles, Hong Kong Tatler

More books from this author: Marcel Dzama

More books in this series: Spotlight Series