Thursday 9 June 2011

John Currin - painter

John Currin was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1962, and obtained a B.F.A. in 1984 from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, followed by an M.F.A. from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

He is best known for satirical figurative paintings that deal with provocative sexual and social themes in a technically skillful manner. His work shows a wide range of influences, including sources as diverse as the Renaissance, popular culture magazines, and contemporary fashion models He often distorts or exaggerates the erotic forms of the female body.

In New York City in 1989 he exhibited a series of portraits of young girls derived from the photographs in a high school yearbook, and initiated his efforts to distil art from traditionally clichéd subjects. In the 1990s, when political themed art works were favoured, Currin used bold depictions of busty young women, mustachioed men and asexual divorcés. He used magazines like Cosmopolitan along with old issues of Playboy for inspiration for his paintings.

In 1992 a subsequent exhibition focused, less sympathetically, on well-to-do middle-aged women. Nonetheless, by the late 1990s Currin's ability to paint subjects of kitsch with technical facility met with critical and financial success, and by 2003 his paintings were selling "for prices in the high six figures". More recently, he has undertaken a series of figure paintings dealing with unabashedly pornographic themes.

Currin has exhibited widely internationally. John Currin: Works on Paper was presented by Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, in 2003 and toured to Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, and Milwaukee Art Museum, Minnesota. Also in 2003, MoCA Chicago initiated a mid-career survey of his paintings which toured to the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His work has also been included as part of What is Painting? - Contemporary Art from the Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007 and Painting Now! - Back to Figuration, Kunsthal Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2007. A major monograph on John Currin was published by Rizzoli International in 2006.
Currin is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife and fellow artist, Rachel Feinstein.

1992 Skinny Woman

1993 Ms. Omni

1993 Standing Nude

1997 Heartless

1997 The Bra Shop

1999 Buffet

1999 The Pink Tree

2000 Stamford After-Brunch

2001 Nude on a Table

2002 Fishermen

2002 Rachel in Fur

2003 Thanksgiving

2005 Francis

2006 Kissers

2009 Constance Towers

2009 Mademoiselle

2010 Big Hands

2010 Hot Pants

Bent Lady

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