Often described as a “painter’s painter” Dobbins approach to painting is complex and labor intensive. Known for his use of expert color and texture Dobbins uses painting as a means to illustrate the unnamable. Titling his work with the initials of friends and family, each piece reflects complexities unique to the individuals involved.
Dobbins states, “For years my paintings have been based on moments when I experience a great joy, this show is a continuation of that process. Specifically, the work for this show draws on recent experiences as well as some distant experiences that I am only now coming around to realizing through the process of paintings.”
Comprised of large paintings on canvas and small works on paper, “Let It Last” features one color explosion after another ranging from soft pastels to vibrant primaries, neutrals and everything in between. In “Untitled (for E.R.S./G.U.T./M.M.Y.)” one is reminded of a viewfinder. Circular windows float like orbs amongst one another as if in conversation, each opening to an autonomous world of pattern and shape.
Tennessee native Hamlett Dobbins received his BA in Painting from University of Memphis and his MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. He currently lives and works in Memphis, where he teaches full time at the University of Memphis. He was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize in 2013, which took him to the American Academy in Rome for a year’s study. He has participated in exhibitions across the United States and abroad, including the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville; Whitespace Atlanta; The Mississippi Museum of Art, Oxford; University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Louisiana Tech University, Ruston; American Academy in Rome; Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville. He is the recipient of awards and residencies including the ArtsAccelerator Grant, ArtsMemphis; Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Residency, Omaha, NE; Vermont Studio Center, Four Week Fellowship, Johnson, Vermont; and Best of Show, Arts in the Park Juried Show, Jerry Saltz, juror. His work is included a number of public collections including Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee State Museum and Knoxville Museum of Art.