Marlene Grafin von Durckheim, who now lives and works in Stellenbosch, was born in Johannesburg. She attained the BA (Fine Arts) degree at the University of Pretoria and the BA (Fine Arts Honours) degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1989. She was lecturer in practical and theoretical subjects at both universities. She also taught at the Johannesburg School for Art, BaIlet, Music and Drama and at its Afrikaans counterpart, Hoerskool Die Kruin in Johannesburg. While working at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, she came into contact with the graphic works of a great number of European masters.
She regularly participates in group exhibitions and has frequently held solo exhibitions since 1989. Her work can be found in a number of private collections in South Africa, Europe and the United States of America as well as in the collections of public organisations, including the University of Stellenbosch, ABSA Bank and Sun International.
Marlene works in a variety of media; oil, egg tempera, pastel and conte. She mainly finds her inspiration in the still life, where her compositions are based on harmonies of tone, line, colour, form and texture - always seeking 'new' solutions.
In the opening address at a previous solo exhibition, Prof. Charles du Ry described her work as follows: "Complimentary to depicting a certain reality, her art touches the anima. The interaction between the two is splendidly handled. It is as if she dominates the objects of her subjects with words before she translates these to canvas. The concept of interaction between music, painting and poetry, so well applied by her, creates an overall harmony in her work."