John Currin: Tapestry, 2013
Oil on canvas
48 1/8 x 34 inches (117.2 x 86.4 cm)
© John Currin
Photo by Rob McKeever
PARIS • Gagosian Gallery • Ongoing
|I don't think I'm as witty in painting as I used to be, partly because I don't have to be, because I can do more things just with light, color, and form. I'm less beholden to games with metaphors. Figurative painting does not seem as doomed to failure as it did then, so I'm painting less about that.|
American artist John Currin's technique is achieved through the scrutiny and emulation of the compositional devices, graphic rhythms and refined surfaces of sixteenth and seventeenth century Northern European painting, while his eroticized subjects exist at odds with the popular dialogue and politics of contemporary art. With inspirations as diverse as Old Master portraits, pin-ups, pornography, and B-movies, Currin paints ideational yet challengingly perverse images of women, from lusty nymphs and dour matrons to more ethereal feminine prototypes.
Currin's latest paintings present an increased complexity of background treatment. In Tapestry (2013), a casually dressed modern woman is portrayed in his signature baroque style; her torn jeans and bohemian, peasant-style blouse contrast with the elaborate manner in which she is painted. Her exquisitely sharp, brightly colored figure stands out within a fluid, grisaille-like setting of floral patterns, light fabrics, and blurry bodies joined in sexual ecstasy. Conflating a heady mix of historic technique, humor and fantasy, Currin continues to provoke and titillate.
John Currin was born in 1962 in Boulder, Colorado, and lives and works in New York.
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