September 9 — October 14, 2017
Conduit Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Austin artist, Erin Curtis. With an interest in anthropology and an eye toward architecture and pattern, Curtis’ paintings and works on paper are intensely handmade and united in their dense weavings of color.
Like radio communications sent deep from a remote location, interrupted and overlaid with layers of noise and sound, Jungle Transmission includes recent paintings compact with color, pattern and imagery that move over and against themselves. Images of a dark tropical forest, knotted with foliage and planes of dense patterning that hold hidden images of ambiguous cut symbols emerge from canvasses textured with layers of cut pattern and inlayed symbols. The multiple layers of surface simultaneously come together to form a contained but disrupted surface.
Curtis’ recent paintings show interest in geometric abstraction, decoration, repetition and their intersection with representations of nature and natural forms. The work explores utopic ideals of beauty and structure, meeting with the chaos of chance and process.
The exhibition will also include a site-specific installation that engages the architecture of the gallery and spills onto the floor and off the walls. Combining painting, found and repurposed materials, and free hanging, cut canvas shapes, the installation will be complex and exuberant, complimenting the free-standing paintings and offering an experience that is akin to being inside one.
Drawing on abstract language and imagery often sourced from textiles or borrowed from traditional architecture, body ornamentation and body decoration, the work takes inspiration from traditional objects and imagery that exist at the nexus of purpose and beauty. The paintings created for Jungle Transmission threaten to be overwhelmed with an unreadable complexity that is pulled back to the edge of order with the familiar structure of pattern.
Erin Curtis earned and M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Williams College, Williamstown, MA. In 2009, Curtis was named a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur, India. She was also awarded fully funded residencies to the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT (2014); and the Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, CO (2012). In 2013, Curtis was the recipient of the Idea Fund Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Solo exhibitions since 2012 include: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA (2016); Big Medium, Austin TX (2015); Flashpoint Gallery, Washington DC (2015); The Contemporary, Austin, TX (2013); and David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX (2012). Jungle Transmission will be the second solo exhibition at Conduit Gallery for Erin Curtis.