Recognizing the ancient concern about illusionary space hardly begins to assess the complexity of Hamlett Dobbins' paintings. Nor does that recognition explain the range of shapes and their relationship to one another, nor the possibility of a vast and rich terrain opened up through allusion. Dobbins’ canvases, both small and large, employ pure abstraction and pure painting. He is often described as a "painter's painter" for the manner in which he tackles shape, texture, color orchestration, compositional counterbalancing, and surface layering.
His elaborate weaving of shapes and forms results from Dobbins’ intense scrutiny and emotional attachment to the people who inspire each painting. Although each painting is “Untitled” they also bear a series of initials (i.e. “for D.A.L./T.F.”) -- a shorthand acknowledging the person or experience that initiated the artwork.
In 2013, Dobbins was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize, for a year's study and work at the American Academy in Rome.