Carroll Dunham (1949, New Haven, CT, USA).
Works and lives in New York, NY, USA.
Carroll Dunham is renowned for his vibrant and chromatic semi-abstract paintings that burst with psychosexual content and are driven by an apparent aggressive and libidinous energy.
Dunham’s art seems to have absorbed the Art Brut physicality of Jean Dubuffet, blending it with an erotic vernacular reminiscent of illustration or cartoons. He constructs powerful scenes where human figures confront the world in a violent manner that exudes both dominance and lack of control. Tubular body parts and primal shapes emerge from bold blocks of color, conveying a crude sexuality, comic aggression, and an insistent physical presence.
In his famous ‘Bathers’ series Dunham finds inspiration in the late 19th-century and early 20th-century French paintings. Drawing, which forms the foundation of his artistic practice, naturally led him towards portraying “naked human women in natural settings.”
Over his four-decade-long career, Dunham has developed his unique pictorial language. His formal vocabulary initially took the form of quasi-psychedelic biomorphic abstractions and has since evolved to include well-defined concrete figures—such as women, men, and suns—that possess the clarity of images found in coloring books. Dunham has masterfully constructed a graphic world of “nameable things” like trees, flowers, houses, and guns, deliberately avoiding subtlety and striving to distill a subject to its essential visual archetype.
Artist’s works are presented in world most influential art institutions and public collections, such as Albertina Museum (Vienna, Austria), Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL, USA), Brooklyn Museum (New York, NY, USA), The Judith Rothschild Foundation (New York, NY, USA), Museum Ludwig (Cologne, Germany), Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (New York, NY, USA), Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) (Chicago, IL, USA), Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Olbricht Collection (Essen, Germany), Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, USA) and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY, USA).