Born 1962, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
Lives and works in New York
The sources for
Currin’s masterfully crafted paintings may be found in Northern
Renaissance and early Mannerist painting and the pages of popular fashion
magazines. Currin synthesizes historical and contemporary styles, creating
evocative images that examine the tradition of painting and the role of
the female nude in art. While Currin’s nudes carry seemingly
recognizable faces and modern hairstyles, their bodies are often elongated
or distorted. This uneasy juxtaposition precludes what might otherwise be
perceived as an erotic image.
John Currin, The Veil, 1999, oil on canvas, 28 x 22 inches
John Currin responds to questions in the Artists of the Week section of this site.
John Currin’s paintings have been shown widely in group and solo exhibitions since 1989. Group shows have included Wild Walls, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1995); narcissism: Artists Reflect Themselves, California Center for the Arts, Escondido (1996); Projects 60: John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton, Luc Tuymans, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Heart, Body, Mind, Soul: American Art in the 1990s and The Tate Gallery Selects: American Realities–Views from Abroad, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1997); Pop Surrealism, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, and Young Americans 2: New American Art, Saatchi Gallery, London (1998); and John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Examining Pictures: exhibiting paintings, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1999). Solo exhibitions of Currin’s paintings have been presented at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997); Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain du Limousin, Limoges (1995); and Regen Projects, Los Angeles (1996, 1999).
1986 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, M.F.A.
Knight, Christopher. “Young Artist Hobnobs with the Old Masters.” Los Angeles Times, 15 February 1999, F16.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. Projects 60: John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton, Luc Tuymans (1997). Exhibition brochure, text by Laura Hoptman.
Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain du Limousin, Limoges, France. John Currin. Œuvres/Works: 1989-1995 (1995). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Frédéric Paul and Keith Seward.
Seward, Keith. “John Currin: The Weirdest of the Weird.” Flash Art 28, no. 185 (November/December 1995): 78-80.