Carroll Dunham

Erik ReeL painting
Erik ReeL, Opus 1715, Ma Jolie, acrylic on archival paper

Q: Did you see the Carroll Dunham show in LA?

ReeL: Yes.

Q: What do you think?  Both of you have had long careers moving back and forth from figuration to abstraction and back again, with a certain looseness and drawing-oriented direction to your abstraction and a clear awareness of cartoon sources in relation to your figurative work.  In the end he swerved off into a deep dive into figuration while you swerved off into abstraction and a rejection of figuration.  Both, after a relatively long time exploring the opposite direction.  You both, in  your past work were often focused on very specific things for often very long periods of time. Now you both have a very coherent focus that you both seem to be using to incorporate  new motifs into your work.

ReeL; We’re very different. But I like his new work.

Q: That’s another similarity between the two of you: you’re both very generous in your appreciation of other artists and have at times written, quite positively, about artists whose work differs quite  widely from your own.

ReeL:  I suppose so.   I can appreciate how he works, how he paints. I like a lot of artists.  He deserves his current success.  It seems to me the similarities you are reaching for are more or less happenstance, nothing to get concerned about.

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