Skidmore Contemporary Art presents “Black, White, Sparkle, and Pop!” featuring the art of Robert Charles Dunahay.
Appropriate for the artist well-known for his painting series of palm trees, the first shapes which spoke to him were shadows of palms and parts of palms—a trunk, a section of a frond, and the patterns of black and white made by leaves moving in the wind.Dunahay could easily have painted a series of palm tree shadows in his signature style. But in his words “I had been painting palm trees for a very long time and I wanted to do something new and more experimental. I wanted to work with new materials and I wanted to simplify my message. I realized that I wanted to do the exact opposite of what I had been doing.”
“More than any other place I have lived, the desert has had a profound effect on how I perceive the world. I love the textures of the desert. The sand and the changing shapes of shadow and light, and the vast openness. Another important influence has been mid-century design and architecture which is everywhere in Palm Springs.”
Dunahay’s new paintings are black and white and appear at first glance to be completely abstract. The artist chose shapes which “are purposely suggestive of things, so that the resulting image has a vague yet familiar feel to it.” The imagery references nature, architecture, art deco patterns, and textiles from many different cultures. In contrast to the black and white shapes, the surfaces sparkle like diamond dust and are peppered with a shifting rainbow of holographic colors.
Robert Charles Dunahay’s work is in the collections of the Al Thani Royal Family, Qatar, W Hotel San Diego, Westin Hotels, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco, and The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University, Malibu.
The gallery will also be featuring works by Maxine Smith – the opening is set for June 2, 2017
On view: May 20 – June 17, 2017
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404