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Marlene Dumas has a remarkable affinity for language. From the very beginning it has played an important part in her work as a visual artist and, moreover, is frequently used as an autonomous vehicle of expression. She made use of her texts in her earliest collages and still occasionally writes short texts on her drawings given intriguing and revealing titles, such as "The Eyes of the Night Creatures" or "Miss Interpreted". Furthermore Dumas has written an impressive number of texts ranging from aphorisms and short poetic pieces to longer analytical texts. These focus on her own work, tackling such aspects as subject matter, background and sources, as well as its critical reception, and art and painting in general. von Berg, Mariska van den