Carroll Dunham (1949, New Haven, USA). Works and lives in New York and Connecticut.
Carroll Dunham is known for his vibrant, chromatic semi-abstract paintings that explode with psychosexual content and are driven by seemingly aggressive and libidinous energy.
Dunham’s art seems to have absorbed the Art Brut physicality of Jean Dubuffet and fused it with an erotic vernacular akin to illustration or cartoons. He creates forceful scenes in which human figures violently face off against the world in ways that seem both in charge and out of control. Tuberous body parts and primal shapes emerge from sharp blocks of color with a rude sexuality, comic aggression and insistent physical presence.
Alike George Condo at the beginning of his career, Dunham started what he now calls the Bathers, being drawn to late 19th-century and early 20th-century French paintings. Drawing, the foundation of his art practice, led him intuitively toward what he calls “naked human woman in a natural setting,”
In the late ’70s, Dunham began creating what he calls his “primitive” visual language. This formal vocabulary originally manifested as quasi-psychedelic biomorphic abstractions and has since evolved to include concrete figures—women, men, suns—that are as clearly defined as those in a coloring book. He’s slowly built a graphic world of “nameable things”—tree, flower, house, gun—in a purposeful evasion of subtlety, an attempt to purge a subject of its nuance and reduce it to an essential visual archetype.
Dunham’s forty years career can be characterized by its rigorous indefinability, as his works dip freely into the realms of abstraction, figuration, surrealism, graffiti, pop, even cartoons, without ever settling loyally into any one of them.
Artist’s works are presented in world most influential Art institutions and Public Collections, such as: Albertina Museum (Vienna), Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), Brooklyn Museum (New York), The Judith Rothschild Foundation (New York), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA, Chicago), Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA, Los Angeles), Olbricht Collection (Essen), Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia) and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).