Austin-based artist and Fulbright scholar Erin Curtis presents a solo exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculptures depicting overlapping visions of architectural history, interior decoration, and obsessive patterning entitled Perspective Threshold. Large lush paintings, drawings and hanging panels depict malls as vacant ruins, General Motors’ headquarters subsumed in mushrooming foliage, a cell-phone tower dwarfing an iconic modernist home.
Set against the decay of architecture are luxuriant and vibrant representations of the natural world, which snake through the work from photographic cutouts of foliage to vines encroaching on the borders of the paintings. This psychedelic-patterned forest, aggressive in its density and vibrancy, seems to be reclaiming a lost domain.
Overlaying both the architecture and the flora are geometric patterns, which describe and confuse the space within the paintings and the gallery. Drawn from Egyptian tombs, 19th century Indian tapestries, and Victorian floral wallpapers, they create a cacophony of interlocking visual fields where the flat space of the patterns struggles against the skewed pictorial space of the paintings, eliciting an off-balance, cubist sense of spatial possibility.
A focus on built environments binds the diverse elements of the installation. Gathered from varied sources, the pieces depict objects of constructed fantasy now shuttered, abandoned or for sale, inspiring dueling feelings of desire and revulsion. Using architecture and decoration as both subject and substance, Curtis’ installation describes multiple visions of space and structure, pattern and perspective, all situated in an unsettlingly familiar near-future.
Erin Curtis received her BA in Liberal Arts from William College in 1999, and her MFA in Painting from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue creative research in India. She was an artist-in-residence at Kashi Art Gallery from April to July 2009. Her work has been exhibited at Art Palace Gallery in Austin, Texas, at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas as well as the 2007 Texas Biennial.
Erin Curtis' upcoming exhibit Perspective Threshold will run from October 8th through November 18th, 2009 with the opening reception on Thursday, October 8th from 6 to 8pm. Women & Their Work is open Monday through Friday 10am-6pm & Saturday noon- 5pm and is located at 1710 Lavaca in Austin, Texas. For more information call 512-477-1064 or visit womenandtheirwork.org.