Go See – New York: Carroll Dunham at Gladstone Gallery through December 5, 2009

November 30th, 2009

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery New Time Storm
Carroll Dunham’s ‘New Time Storm’ via Gladstone Gallery

Currently on view at Gladstone Gallery is an exhibition of new paintings by Carrroll Dunham. Over the past several years, much of Dunham’s work has focused on an iconic male character – often wielding a gun and baring his genitalia – set in flat abstraction. These paintings represent a shift in the gender of the main character, but also a move towards richer landscapes. Returning to a familiar motif of trees, Dunham places a nude female figure in a garden, a playfully exposed Eve alone amongst cartoonish trees and cacti, occasionally bathing, her ass stuck out, breasts hanging down, pubic and underarm hair spiraling wildly.

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery
Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

More text, images and related links after the jump…

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery (Hers) Night and Day 1
Carroll Dunham’s ‘(Hers) Day and Night #1′ via Gladstone Gallery

The paintings in this exhibition developed out of a series of tree paintings Dunham started in 2007. Two of the paintings included are of trees, with no figure present. In the other works, the figure is mainly abstracted, viewed only from behind and never fully presented. In one instance, a breast and an arm create a perpendicular frame of a desert scene; in another, a starry night sky peeps out from behind spread legs and an outlandish vagina.

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Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery (Hers) Night and Day 2
Carroll Dunham’s ‘(Hers) Day and Night #2′ via Gladstone Gallery

Dunham’s process throughout the course of his career has been that of a sort of automatic painting, developing tropes and motifs through repetition and doodling.  His earlier works are wild and colorful surreal abstractions populated by strange figures and characters, with phalluses coming to prominence.  Eventually, a man appeared and the background noise faded. In Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery in 2007, many of the paintings were crisp, angular shapes in flat yellow and greys. Here, the landscape is given prominence. Dunham said in a conversation with Phong Bui, “It’s almost similar to the way you might simultaneously be having the most intimate look at someone’s body parts and out of the other side of your eye see a tree way off in the distance—that collision of subjects and that collision of space.”

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery3
Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery Bather Night
Carroll Dunham’s ‘Bather / Night’ via Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery (Hers) Night and Day 3
Carroll Dunham’s ‘(Hers) Day and Night #3′ via Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery2
Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery (Hers) Night and Day 4
Carroll Dunham’s ‘(Hers) Day and Night #4′ via Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery Bather (one)
Carroll Dunham’s ‘Bather (one)’ via Gladstone Gallery

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Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery (Hers) Night and Day 5
Carroll Dunham’s ‘(Hers) Day and Night #5′ via Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery Tree with Red Flowers
Carroll Dunham’s ‘Tree with Red Flowers’ via Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery6
Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery (Hers) Night and Day 6
Carroll Dunham’s ‘(Hers) Day and Night #6′ via Gladstone Gallery

Carroll Dunham Gladstone Gallery7
Installation view of Carroll Dunham’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery

Related Links:
Carroll Dunham [Gladstone Gallery]
CARROLL DUNHAM In Conversation with Phong Bui [Brooklyn Rail]
Carroll Dunham’s Inner Child [More Intelligent Life]
Carroll Dunham [New York]