Gerhardsen Gerner

Carroll Dunham Previous Shows Watercolors 2014

Carroll Dunham


Carroll Dunham

Exhibition duration: October 9 – November 22, 2014

Gerhardsen Gerner Oslo is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by the US–American painter and printmaker Carroll Dunham. It is the artist’s ninth solo show with Gerhardsen Gerner.

In Oslo, Carroll Dunham shows a body of twelve medium-sized large watercolors. He presents us with a selection of colored compositions of bathing women. They leap across a background of sun and water, diving, swimming or leaning forward while pondering the horizon. Dunham's women are active, with their large bodies moving in the water. 

This almost unrestrained activity exudes an irrepressible love of life. The impression is also supported by the clearly split choice of colors and the vibrant lines: Luminous warm yellow and radiant chilly blue stand in contrast, representing nature in the form of sun, water and sky. White, black, blue and pink are assigned to the women's bodies. 

Dunham makes use of wide black lines for the contours of his female bodies. They are equipped with a wild mane of black hair – and he is not shy in boldly portraying pubic hair. All this surrounds a vulva, magically pulsating in different shades of pink, which is consistently placed in or near the center of the image field. The strokes are energetic, almost forceful, especially in the water and hair. The only point of calm in the exhibition are two paintings depicting a female figure gazing out toward the horizon. 

All of these works show close-ups of backs; beyond them lies the view of a reduced water landscape. Dunham's bodies remain incomplete. Part of the body, even if it's only the hands, is always located outside the viewing area. In this group of works, the artist is particularly interested in the extremely close-up perspective of the diving nude, abstracting the figure in a composition of ovals, circles and other seemingly geometric figures. 

In developing the images in his latest series of works, Carroll Dunham takes recourse in the great visual themes of art history. Here he is logical and consistent within the context of his oeuvre – one is reminded, for example, of the revelation made by the phallus-nosed gun-man – and presents surprises or twists that leave us gasping for breath. New to this series of bathers is a particular concentration on the figure itself. The hitherto equally important landscape views or vegetation, in which the figures were embedded, are reduced to sun, sea and sky. The organic green trees, hills or flowers of his previous series fall away in favor of this reduction. The contemplative poise of the back busts gazing into the blue distance is a new theme, and may provide a hint of what is yet to come. 

Carroll Dunham is one of the most influential painters in the United States. Numerous solo exhibitions have been dedicated to him, including – in Scandinavia – an exhibition of his paintings and sculptures in the Millesgården Museum in Stockholm, and a show on his drawings at Drammens Museum. His work has been shown in group exhibitions at all the major institutions, most recently in the exhibition "Post Picasso: Contemporary Reactions" at the Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Furthermore, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne showed its collection of his works on paper in 2009.

Dunham’s work is represented in the following public collections: Albertina Museum, Vienna; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art, Oslo, Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt a. Main; Drammens Museum, Drammen; Kistefos, Oslo; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Nordea Art Collection, Oslo; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Tate Collection, London; Whitney Museum of Art, New York, among others.

For further information please contact Marina Gerner-Mathisen, Gerhardsen Gerner, Oslo:

or Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin: T: +49-30-69 51 83 41, F: +49-30-69 51 83 42, or visit our website at