CK Contemporary

Hollis Dunlap

“I enjoy the look and feel of oil paint, so when I paint I try to retain the look of wet paint, regardless of the subject matter. Visually, transparent oil paint looks the best to me out of any painting medium.”

(American, b. 1977)

Born in 1977 in Northern Vermont, Hollis Dunlap began painting with oils at a young age, at first experimenting with still life and painting various subjects from imagination. Encouraged by his high school art teacher, he began taking private oil painting lessons, and began studying the figure as well as painting landscapes. During these years he augmented his school art classes with after-school figure drawing programs, developing his familiarity with the human form.  At the same time he began to study the old masters extensively, copying many master drawings and paintings in an attempt to absorb some of the spirit of their work, as well as more specific technical lessons to be gained from these artists. After high school he went on to study at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, where he received extensive training over the course of four years. During this time he was influenced by many painters of various styles, discovering more modern methods of applying paint and emphasizing strong aspects of design in his compositions. 

While at the Academy, he was the first painter to be awarded First Prize at New York’s National Arts Club student exhibition two years in a row, as well as receiving the Academy’s John Stobart Fellowship, awarded each year to a graduating student in recognition of outstanding work. Hollis is a two time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant as well.  In the winter of 2001, he studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, painting the figure in the interior space and furthering his understanding of dynamic light effects. He explores the qualities of both form and paint, with unique brushwork that carries an emotional pitch. A passionate and meticulous draughtsman, his realistic portraits and en plein air landscapes begin as careful studies of his subject and evolve into more expressive treatments of color, line, and surface. His profuse brushwork accumulates into abstract forms and shapes, which he uses to build images. The repeated application of paint creates a dense and highly worked surface with rich layers of texture and color. He has had numerous solo shows in Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Boston, and San Francisco, and currently paints the figure at his studio in Southeastern CT.