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Focusing on the artist’s pivotal “Green Period.,” this publication brings together prints, drawings, and paintings created by American artist Carroll Dunham between 2018 and 2022 to form one of his most distinctive bodies of works. “Sometime in 2018,” Dunham recalls, “I was working on a group of monotypes and a green male head appeared in a few. They were a relief to look at after all the white shapes dominating my work. These prints were followed a year later by a group of drawings, then large watercolors, and then paintings.”
Using the green color as a pictural and expressive tool, Dunham explored the quality and concept of “green” through images of figures in an archaic world of his own making. In these “figurative” works he explores intimacy, race, sex, aging, and his own graphic and painterly languages. Maintaining that singular focus encouraged him to invent spatial, narrative, and philosophical scenarios hitherto unimaginable in his work. These, his most tender and vulnerable artworks, are profoundly moving meditations on the nature of human existence in the 21st century.
Lavishly illustrated and designed by Conny Purtill, the publication features three newly commissioned essays: the curator and editor of the publication Dan Nadel writes on cross-media processes, and how the “Green Period.” fits into the artist’s personal and artistic history through a careful analysis of the works; artist Mary Simpson situates these works in the context of surgical theaters and the visualization of sex; Dunham himself explores colors, narratives, and the conceptual and formal background of his “Green Period.”
Born in 1949, Carroll Dunham lives and works in New York and Connecticut. Since the 1970s, he has developed a formal mastery of line, texture, and color to continually engage with new and recurring modes of art making. Drawing on the art historical canon as well as on pop culture, he revisits enduring themes that comprise our existence while simultaneously exploring the formal attributes of painting. His most recent solo exhibitions include Where am I? Prints 1985–2022, National Museum, Oslo, 2023, and Carroll Dunham/Albert Oehlen. Bäume/Trees, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 2019–2020. He has shown at international institutions including Denver Art Museum, Denver; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Millesgarden, Stockholm; Drammens Museum, Drammen, Norway; a mid-career retrospective was held at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, in 2002.