April 26 - May 25, 2012
Opening Thursday April 26, 20:00-22:00
The Bernier/Eliades Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Greece of paintings by Carroll Dunham.
Carroll Dunham (b.1949, Connecticut) is widely acclaimed from the late 1970s for his conceptual and emotional approach to painting which wavers between the figurative and abstract, defying and redefining the very gesture of painting throughout history. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford in 1972 and has since continued to develop a uniquely personal and idiosyncratic style that has garnered worldwide recognition.
Dunham’s work is characterized by colorful painted compositions and biomorphic subjects unfolding in an intricate narrative framework that borders poetically on the psychedelic and overtly sexual. Dunham’s brush challenges the very nature of color, form and line in its iconic compositions, all of which are characterized by the exuberant animation of geometrical relations.
The body of work exhibited here is especially important and moving in its choice of trees for subject-matter, as some of the first works that elevated his career in the 1980s were created on pieces of plywood, on which the natural wood patterns came to direct the overall shape and form of fantastic creatures and scenery.
Dunham in turn began to explore the subject of trees in 2007. These trees from which grow bright flowers and large leaves, reveal themselves as part of a complex visual terrain inhabited by a microcosm of various latent figures and plants – that undermine the apparently innocent subject matter, typified in western consciousness by the sweet innocence of children’s garden drawings.
In one tree, foliage resembles the blade of an axe, a noose is hanging from the branch of another, while overall branches and leaves are interlocked in a violent internal confrontation with sexually loaded connotations. Each of these semi-mythical trees is dated and signed by hand, a bold basic reminder of the act and the fact of painting.
Carroll Dunham has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held in institutions such as the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2009, the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin College, New York in 2008, and the Drammens Museum in Oslo in 2006. His work has been included severally in Whitney Biennials and is found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; the Tate Gallery, London; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago amongst others.