The abstract paintings of Memphis artist Hamlett Dobbins contain subtle references to an array of sources that, although familiar to us all, have triggered the artist’s imagination in surprising ways.

Working improvisationally, he produces visual riffs inspired by such subjects as old photographs, human skin and faces, books, gardens, Lego building sets, and myriad other materials that through the years have helped to define his life and interests. These elements are combined and transformed into a lively visual poetry in which painted “constructions”—composed of layers of quirky shapes, luscious colors, dense surfaces, and warped patterns—imply a meaning that is both elusive and intriguing.

A native of Tennessee, Dobbins is currently the director of the Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College in Memphis. He has exhibited his paintings in such cities as New York; Amsterdam; Des Moines; Madison, Wisconsin; Memphis; and Nashville. He received his BFA from the University of Memphis in 1993 and his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1999.2006 Gordon

Image: Hamlett Dobbins; Untitled (for B.R.C.), 2004. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 in. Courtesy of the artist and David Lusk Gallery, Memphis

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