• 125th issue of Vogue
  • Dunahay - Bahama
  • Dunahay - Opening Reception
  • Dunahay - Big Halo
  • Dunahay-Big Halo installation
  • Dunahay - Victor
  • Dunahay - Smithereens
  • Dunahay - Smithereens at The Vintage Club
  • Dunahay-ART PS 2017
  • Palm Springs Fine Art Fair -Vella
  • Dunahay - Chartres at Madison Estates
  • Dunahay-Modern Dance at the Madison Club
  • Dunahay-Birds of Paradise
  • Dunahay-Bing 1 and Bing 4
  • Dunahay-Viceroy installation, Vintage Club

Robert Dunahay

Robert Dunahay's iconic palm tree painting "Bahama" was chosen for an article in the important 125th anniversary issue of Vogue Magazine. The fact that Dunahay's paintings are not just en vogue, but also in Vogue was a fun fact we felt was worth sharing. Fashion and art have never been closer and it is beautiful to see how these two worlds come together.  

Dunahay’s contemporary paintings place subjects ranging from palm trees to swaths of luxurious fabric front and center on bold hued backgrounds, elevating them from frequent images in our lives to a symbolic pedestal on the canvas worthy of wonder, confrontation and deeper reflection. 

Dunahay is most known for his Palm Series of paintings depicting grand-scale palm trees in vibrant colors. By depicting his subject in face-to-face portraiture style on a solid background, he replaces traditional references to landscape with the transcendentalism of iconography. The breadth of his work reaches much beyond the palm tree paintings with numerous distinct new series of works, recently on display at our gallery.

Distinguished patrons worldwide collect Dunahay’s art including the Royal Family Al Thani of Qatar, Baroness Monica Von Neumann of Switzerland and celebrities Pierce Brosnan, Kelsey Grammer and Linda Hamilton. His work is part of the corporate collections for Pepperdine University, The Financial Times, The Packard Foundation and the W Hotel. 

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Biography 

Robert Dunahay, born 1954, U.S.A.

His career as an artist has led him from New York to Palm Springs were he currently works out of his 3000 square foot studio. 

Palm Series

Included in prestigious domestic and international collections, contemporary artist Robert Charles Dunahay is best known for his chromatically lush paintings of palm trees. His large colorful canvases of a single palm image isolated against a solid color background have an immediate and definite pop art quality.  The palms are beautifully rendered in fantastic detail with crisp, confident brushstrokes and saturated with rich colors. As a result of Dunahays’ intimate approach and ability to personalize the subject matter, these paintings feel more like portraits than landscapes. They evoke feelings of tranquility and warmth, while symbolizing promise and hope

“I am drawn to the palm for its strong positive symbolism. For most of us, palm trees are an important element in the landscape of our perfect vacation. They are a simple reminder that life is good. In these paintings, I use color to enhance the exotic-ness that is already inherent in palm trees. The “face to face” composition provides the viewer with an intimate opportunity to observe the palm tree much as they would a portrait of a person. By replacing traditional references to landscape with a solid color background, the palm becomes iconic, transcending nature to become an alluring ideal palm. My goal is to engage the viewer in a way that allows them to experience the palm rather than to render a specific tree.”   - Robert Dunahay

Distinguished patrons worldwide collect Dunahay’s work, including the Royal Family AI Thani of Qatar, and Baroness Monica Von Neumann of Switzerland. His colorful paintings frequently get snapped up by celebrities like Pierce Brosnan, Kelsey Grammer, and Linda Hamilton to name a few. Corporate collections include Pepperdine University, The Financial Times, The Packard Foundation, and the W Hotel. His work is held in the collections of the Peninsula Museum of Art and the Fredrick R. Weisman Museum of Art. In 2008, Robert was invited to participate and lecture about his work for “The Altered Book Project”, a joint exhibition of the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Palm Springs Public Library. In 2009, he was a guest on “The Joan Quinn Profiles” the international cable show hosted by Joan Quinn, former editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. Dunahay has been featured in Metropolitan Home, Space Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Dune Magazine, Sunset Magazine publications, and Season in the Sun Magazine.

Museum exhibitions include the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art (Malibu, CA), Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, CA), Museum of Art & History (Lancaster, CA ) and the Peninsula Museum of Art (Belmont, CA)

 

Black and White Series

After having worked extensively with color in the palm series, Dunahay experimented with different materials, and slowly developed a new style in recent years. Color was taken out of the equation and a "Black and White" series evolved. The palm paintings having been stylistically Pop-realism, this new work is geometrical abstraction.  

After moving from the Bay Area to Palm Springs,  Dunahay first experienced life in the desert. Fascinated by the patterns in the little sand dunes that would build up after a windy day and the texture of the desert sand,  he knew he wanted to use it in his work. Adding sand to acrylic paint and brushing it onto canvas, it was just a matter of time and replacing sand with crystalline that brought this new series to light. 

According to Dunahay the shift in painting wasn't so much a moment of realization but a necessity.

"In my mind the new work I was creating was conceptually very distant from the palm paintings, and that required a new set of skills, different tools, and methods of application. I went from applying tiny dabs of paint with a fine sable brush to tossing scoops of glittering sand onto puddles of wet glue. The change in style was more of a necessity than a choice."

 

Selected Solo and Two Person Shows

2017 “Black, White, Sparkle and Pop”, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station, L.A., CA
2016 Hohmann Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2013 Hohmann Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2011 Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA
2010 James Francis Trezza Gallery, NYC, NY
2009 Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA
  Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2008 Studio 661, Palm Springs, CA
  Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2007 Modern Masters Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2006 Sada Gallery, Doha, Qatar
  Modern Masters Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
  Studio 661, Palm Springs, CA
2005 Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2004 Skidmore Contemporary Art, Malibu, CA
2003 Skidmore Contemporary Art, Malibu, CA
  Marin Academy, San Rafael, CA
2001 Learsi Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
  Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2000 Jernigan Wicker Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
1999 Jernigan Wicker Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
1998 Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  C.I.T.Y. 2000 Gallery, Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, NV
  Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA

 

Selected Group Shows

2018 Art Palm Springs, Hohmann Fine Art Booth
  Museum of Art and History, "“He man”"
  “The Sky’s the Limit”, Sloan Miyasato, San Francisco, CA
2017 Art Palm Springs, Hohmann Fine Art Booth
  "Hot and Cool”,  Sloan Miyasato, San Francisco, CA
2015 Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, Hohmann Fine Art Booth
  Hohmann Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2011 Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica,CA
  J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
  Alex Mertens Fine Art, Montecito, CA
2010  From the Vault, Fredrick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, CA
  Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA
  Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
  Alex Mertens Fine Art, Montecito, CA
  J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
  MERGE: Metro State Alumni Exhibition, Denver ,CO
2009 Paintings, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA
2008 Beaux & Eros, Peninsula Museum of Art, Belmont, CA
2007 Selections from the Permanent Collection, Frederick R. Weisman
2006 Modern Masters Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2003 Skidmore Contemporary Art, Malibu, CA
2002  Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
2001  Jernigan Wicker Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
2000 Jernigan Wicker Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
1999 Be Still My Heart, Artsmart, San Francisco, CA

 

Selected Public and Private Collections

Al Thani, Royal Family, Qatar
Disney Hotels, Orlando, FL
Ditech Communications, Mountain View, CA
Dualstar Technologies, Irvine, CA
Financial Times, Pacific Northwest Bureau, San Francisco, CA
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
Hyatt Regency, Orange County, CA
Hewlitt Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA
Philpotts& Associates, Honolulu, HI
P.F. Changs, Walnut Creek, CA
Renaissance Club Sport, Walnut Creek, CA
Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki, HI
San Francisco Sentry, San Francisco, CA
Valley Crest Company, Calabasas, CA
Vanguard Properties, The Palms, San Francisco, CA
Villa Graziadio Executive Center, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
W Hotel, San Diego, CA
Westin Diplomat Spa, Hollywood, FL

 

Press and Publications

2015 "Robert Dunahay" Hohmann Fine Art Catalogue
2014 "Robert Dunahay, From New York city to Palm Trees" CV Weekly,  March
2013 "Palms" Skidmore Contemporary Art, August /September
2010 “On Exhibit” Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Summer
2008 “In the Palm of His Hand, Robert Charles Dunahay’s Exploration of Color,” Space magazine, January/February
  “Deceptive Simplicity”, by Nicole Borgenicht, Dune Magazine, February-March
  “Talk of the Valley”, Arts and Culture, Desert Magazine, April
  “Shhh?” Palm Springs Life Magazine, October 
  “The World in Perspective, Artist Profile,” Art and Culture, Winter
  Spring and Palm Springs Life magazine, December
2007 “In and Out of the Rabbit Hole, Art in the Desert, The Desert Entertainer, May
  “The Circuit,” Palm Desert Magazine, Fall
  “Mid-century Sightings,” Season in the Sun Magazine, June
  “Galleries Show Their Best,” Palm Springs Life Magazine, April
  “Back to the Fuschia,” Metropolitan Home, May
2003 Robert Charles Dunahay, Palms, exhibition catalogue, Skid more Contemporary Art, Malibu, CA, August 9 –September 6
2001 Will Shank,“Art That’s Hot,” Bay Area Reporter, vol. 31, no. 51, December
2000 Robert Charles Dunahay: Palm Series, exhibition catalogue, Jernigan Wicker Fine Art, San Francisco, CA, October
1998 Susan Peliks,“Discoveries,” Inside Magazine, Nov/Dec, p. 24.
  “Arts and Culture in Tahoe, Truckee, and Nevada,” Artifacts, Winter, p. 13.
  “Art, from Theory, and the Heart,” Encore, Sierra Arts
  Foundation Magazine, vol. 23, no. 11, p.5.
  “Original Approaches to Landscape,” Encore, vol. 23, no. 12, p. W16