The David Winton Bell Gallery is pleased to announce the acquisition of Untitled (6/16/1997), a ballpoint pen and pencil drawing by Carroll Dunham.
Developing a lexicon of pictograms since the early 1980s, Dunham has become known for his cartoon-like images of protruding phalluses, orifices, and other abstracted bodily abjections. At a time that was dominated by the rigors of process art, Dunham turned to comics, graffiti, and the psychosexual proclivities of surrealism to create sprawling canvases of silly yet seductive debauchery.
Over the years his work has grown increasingly figurative, while maintaining its commitment to the comically grotesque. In the mid 1990s he developed a series of distinct characters with penis-like noses and toothy, vagina dentate smiles. Two of these creatures can be seen floating on a raft in Untitled. One grabs his nose like a telescope, while the other seemingly steers a tiller. Untitled is an early study for Ship, 1997-1999, a large painting in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, that depicts a raucous maritime scene of fighting genitalia.