Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
April 28–June 17, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, April 28, 6–8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Carroll Dunham. The exhibition features recent work that expounds on visual themes developed by the artist since the 1980s, while offering a progressive shift in subject from his fabled nude-in-landscape motifs of the past decade.
On view are four interconnected bodies of work: A Wrestling Place series—depicting two Herculean figures mid-tussle against a barren panorama; Self-Examination paintings—a wrestler’s intimately folded body represented within a tensely cropped picture plane; the Wrestler suite—individual portraits of the brawling protagonists standing in profile, facing away from the viewer and exposing scuffed, bruised backs against otherworldly blue backdrops; and The Golden Age—scenes rendered in pencil on gessoed linen.
The exhibited paintings offer a vivid and unmistakably voyeuristic perspective of naked, male opponents fighting amidst a recurring scene of a lone tree, a dog as witness, and a bright, yellow sun held in a lavender sky. The brute wrestlers—with their bulbous body parts; stringy, long hair and beards; scraped, rosy skin; brazen orifices and protrusions—are balanced with an intimacy issued by the artist’s tender color palette. Animated tones offer a respite from the unsettling provocations portrayed here in these primitive and erotic acts of masculine struggle.
In his distinct style, Dunham combines a mastery of abstract and figurative modes of painting and drawing, where the composition is as much the subject of the painting as is the charged imagery and uncanny world inhabited.
A forthcoming catalogue featuring a new essay by artist and writer Alexi Worth will accompany the exhibition.
Carroll Dunham was born in New Haven, CT in 1949 and currently lives and works in New York and Connecticut. Dunham’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at international museums and institutions including: Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO (2014); Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2009); Millesgården, Stockholm, Sweden (2008); Drammens Museum, Drammen, Norway (2006); and a mid-career retrospective was held at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY (2002). Dunham has also been included in notable group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial (1995, 1991, 1985) and SITE Santa Fe (2004); and at institutions such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.