198 Allen Street, New York, New York 10002
In lieu of a long-planned solo booth at FIAC this year, Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to present Julie Curtiss: Square One, a reconceived exhibition on view to the public from October 20 - October 31. In a year of extraordinary challenges, the title echoes the global reset we are all faced with--the simultaneous idea of regression, coupled with the promise for a fresh start. What was supposed to be a Parisian homecoming for Curtiss is instead a tribute to the city that has been her home for a decade; a celebration of our ability to still enjoy art in person; and a thoughtful, almost prescient observation on the current state of the world.
The exhibition consists of seven paintings, six drawings, and two sculptures. Curtiss’ work often deals with duality and the way opposing forces can be complementary. The works in Square One weave together narratives around ideas of privacy and display, light and shadow. In one painting, a cropped female figure enjoys a glass of wine; look a little longer and you’ll notice her open legs under the table, revealing something slightly indiscreet to the viewer. In others: two young clonelike women are seen from the back taking selfies; a woman gets her hair done in a salon--but the shadowy silhouettes peering through the mirror invoke enigmatic, perhaps even sinister, circumstances.
The series of gouaches belong to a new body of work in which Curtiss has eliminated color, using only black and white to create quirky, playful, and strange images. Flesh, hair, muscles, and fur are freely substituted for one another, blurring lines and boundaries, and existing in ambiguous spaces where black and white fuse to create shades of gray and mystery. In one of her sculptures, Curtiss has explored a combination of both handmade and readymade objects. Last Embrace features two fish tails jutting out of a bowl of ramen, and was made during a residency in Tokyo last year. The journey explored throughout the works is one of competition between forces, but ultimately a resolution and embrace of them, resulting in a bemused look at our shared humanity. As the artist playfully notes regarding the sculpture: “Aren’t we all in the same soup?”
The exhibition will be open every day from 10am-6pm, and will be accompanied by a catalogue.