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X#*@(ing) INDEX!: Who is Pointing at Who—and why—in Carroll Dunham's Drawings
Carroll Dunham (b. 1949, New Haven, CT) has eschewed the conventions of abstract and figurative painting, establishing a trademark style and vast body of work that are both deeply original and enormously influential. His early works, painted on wood veneer, used the existing textures of the knotted grain to create elaborate compositions recalling both fantastic organic forms and the popular imagery of cartoons. Mining the unconscious and variously pursuing psychologically charged themes, these psychedelic depictions evolved over the years from primordial amoeba-like forms to quasi-figurative biomorphisms. A formalist by nature, Dunham’s paintings and drawings are studies in control—his line has become a protagonist in itself—nothing is accidental, whether executed in gentle pencil shading, audacious crayon scribble, or painterly ink and gouache.