bob durham


Raised in Gallatin, Tennessee, Bob graduated from Vanderbilt University magna cum laude with a degree in English literature. Soon afterwards, he began developing his interest in visual art. He worked as a freelance illustrator in New England from 1979 to1994, then returned to Nashville to concentrate on his painting. In 1998 Bob earned his MFA with distinction in drawing and painting from the University ofGeorgia. Since then he has resided in Nashville and taught drawing and painting at Watkins College ofArt and Design, Sewanee, Vanderbilt University, and Middle Tennessee State University. His fine art paintings have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, are part of many corporate and private collections, and are included in the books The Art of Community: Janet and Jim Ayers’ Collection of Tennessee Art, Dynamic Color Painting for the Beginner by Diane Edison, and Art of Tennessee, published by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.


“I paint within the realist tradition. Physical presence–the fact that I and others exist in three dimensions–holds my awed attention as nothing else can. It is the foundation from which I work and the unattainable illusion for every painting I complete.In my experience, the habitual practice of painting is a way of reckoning with the world and a means of better understanding its intricacies and innumerable rabbit holes. My paintings take shape in a territory somewhere between imagination and physical reality. Within the narrative nature of the paintings an often disruptive and irrepressible element exposes the humor, contradictions and questionable conventions of the human condition.”