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A work made of graphite, with traces of stumping and erasing on ivory wove paper.

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  • A work made of graphite, with traces of stumping and erasing on ivory wove paper.


December 23, 1982


Carroll Dunham
American, born 1949

About this artwork

Carroll Dunham has distinguished himself as one of the outstanding draftspeople of his generation. Over the course of his career, he has employed a lexicon of marks and shapes that range in character from pseudo-pornographic crudeness to extreme refinement, from random doodling to precise rendering—sometimes within the same work. His drawings make constant reference to natural forms such as bodily orifices, mutating cells, and sexual and internal organs. Dunham has said that all of his visual ideas progress from a daily drawing practice that is at once rigorously formal and deliberately playful, generating automatic markings that reveal directions, rhythms, or motifs to develop further. His reliance on his subconscious and the practice of automatic drawing are clearly indebted to the Surrealists, and also to popular comics and animated cartoons, and, not least, children’s drawings, with their uninhibited nature.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Carroll Dunham




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Graphite, with traces of stumping and erasing on ivory wove paper


20.9 × 13.5 cm (8 1/4 × 5 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of David Nolan

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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