Born 1949, New Haven, Connecticut. Lives and works in New York.
He completed a BA at Trinity College, Hartford, in 1972 and later settled in New York. In 2004 he received Skowhegan Medal for Distinction in Painting.
Initially influenced by Post-Minimalism, process art and conceptual art, he was soon attracted to the tactility and allusions to the body in the work of Brice Marden, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman. Spurred on by the revival of interest in Surrealism in the 1970s, Dunham began to make abstract, biomorphic paintings reminiscent of the work of Arshile Gorky and André Masson, executed with a comic twist enhanced by lurid colours and the suggestion of contemporary psychedelia.
In the 1980s he began to paint on wood veneer and rose to prominence in the context of a broader return to painting in the period: geometric sketches co-exist with eroticized organic shapes while the forms of the wood veneer show through the surface of the paint to suggest surging forces.
Near to the end of the 1980s he began to move towards single, dominating motifs; wave-like forms were particularly common.
In the middle of 1990s his paintings began to feature schematic, cartoon figures which suggest the influence of Philip Guston.
Carrol Dunham works are represented in many significant Public Collections including:
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Whitney Museum of Art, New York
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Albertina Museum, Vienna
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art, Oslo
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
Fort Wayne Art Museum, Indiana
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis
MissouriTate Gallery, London