The Wrestlers series turned out to be one of Dunham’s most extensive, including the purple-skied Wrestling Place sequence, the green-skied Clouds series, the Orange Skies paintings, and the blue-background Winners and Losers.

The works depict two men in vibrant and often barren landscapes, locked in differing moments of pronounced struggle. They push, bite, choke and grab one another in a continuous effort to exert dominance. The intensity of these confrontations is emphasised by pencil marks and paint smears on the men’s skin, indicating dirt, scratching and bruising, and the angiush perceivable when their faces can be seen. Dunham’s tight cropping of these scenes places the figures in the forefront, allowing for an intimate view of the protagonists, highlighting the artist’s ability to play with scale and render complex forms in space.

Precisely because the wrestlers are so ludicrous in their monolithic and uniform hyper-machismo, the paintings suggest that there is no single answer to what masculinity consists of, while not ruling out the possibility that the tendency toward violence might be hard-wired. Yet Dunham’s figuration is somehow tender, accepting of confusion, touchingly non-judgmental.