For Furthest West, Erin Curtis (American, born 1977) marries her interests in traditional craft and textiles, gendered labor, and modernist architecture and furniture to create a colorful, painterly installation. Developed through a hybrid practice of painting and sculpture, her work treads the line between fine art and decoration. Curtis’s exploration of color, form, and material will begin inside the gallery, where she plans to hang a large, double-sided painting with imagery that combines allusions to textile traditions from around the world with loose painterly abstraction. Curtis, who spent time in India on a Fulbright scholarship, will also include handmade woven Charpoy benches imbued with her personal, colorful aesthetic.
Inspired by the landscape and architecture surrounding the Gatehouse Gallery and her recent work on a public art commission in downtown Austin, Curtis will install four new sculptures on the path leading to the gallery’s door. These sculptures, fabricated with colorful glazed bricks from the historic Elgin Butler Company, suggest textiles and fragments of architecture. She will further enliven the pathway with painted patterned banners draped from the arbor.
Multiple artistic traditions inform Curtis’s practice, yet she has developed a distinct visual language. Overlaying utopic ideals of beauty and structure with practicality and usefulness, she connects diverse, ornamental traditions with the practice of contemporary Western painting. Curtis alters and expands upon historic art and decorative practices, architecture, and design to connect to a diverse and continually evolving globalized world.
This exhibition is organized by independent curator Rachel Adams and The Contemporary Austin. Erin Curtis: Furthest West is presented as part of the Texas Biennial.
About the Artist
Erin Curtis lives and works in Austin, Texas. She earned her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007, and in 2010, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Select solo exhibitions include those at Conduit Gallery, Dallas; Women and Their Work Gallery, Austin; Kashi Art Gallery, India; and the Lawndale Art Center in Houston. A public art work commissioned by the City of Austin Art in Public Places program is scheduled to be installed along 3rd Street in downtown Austin beginning in fall 2013.