An exhibition of work by Chad Curtis
February 2, 2012 – March 15, 2012
Opening Reception February 2, 2012 6-8pm // Genius Loci Artist Lecture February 2, 2012 5-6pm
All Natural, an exhibition of work by Philadelphia-based sculptural installation artist Chad Curtis, explores the dialectic of the biological and the mechanical. Curtis utilizes highly processed and digitally manipulated sculptural materials like clay, plastic, cardboard, plywood and foam creating a simulated experience that recontextualizes our largely mediated lived existence. According to the artist, his work “draws inspiration from both digital technology and homebrew DIY makers examining the effects of high technology on the relationship between human beings and the natural environment.”*
For this exhibition, Curtis designed and constructed an eighteen-foot tall mountain out of cardboard using computer drafting software and hand cutting and assembling 262 cardboard triangles with carton tape. The mountain is paired with his drawing machine invention, which created a panoramic landscape on the gallery wall that viewers encounter as they enter the space. According to Curtis, “I am interested in the relationship of the two-dimensional panoramic landscape with the atmospheric perspective and depth of field of the mountain itself.”**
Utilizing the pyramidal form of the gallery for his design, Curtis embraced the playful notion of bringing a mountain to low-lying Florida. The simulated dislocation of landscape creates a façade that transports us somewhere else yet the simplicity of the material, cardboard, evokes childhood constructions or an “adult fort” as Curtis likes to call it. By contrasting imagery from nature with highly synthetic and controlled installations that display a seductive attraction to materials, Curtis explores the boundaries between what is real and natural, and what is manufactured.
-Amy Bowman-McElhone, Director + Curator, TAG UWF
*Chad Curtis, “Biography,” chaddcurtis.com/biography
**Chad Curtis, interview by author, 28 January 2012, Pensacola, Florida.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Mr. Curtis holds a MFA from Alfred University and is an Assistant Professor at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has exhibited internationally including: Margins: A Nontraditional Approach to Clay, The Icehouse, Phoenix, AZ (2009); Archaeology of Wonder, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2008); Primary, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, MI (2008); Scope Hamptons, East Hampton, NY (2007); CIRCA Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2007); One Part Clay: Ceramic Avant-garde & Mixed Media, Garth Clark Gallery, Long Island City, NY (2006); Scope Miami, Miami Beach, FL (2006); and SOFA New York, New York, NY (2005). Additionally, his work has been included in such publications as Ceramics Art and Perception, Neue Keramik, Seramik Turkiye, and the recent books Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics and Tangible: High Touch Visuals. For more information, visit his website chaddcurtis.com.
All events are FREE and open to the public.
TAG is located on UWF’s campus in The Center for Fine and Performing Arts, Building 82.
The Art Gallery at the University of West Florida seeks to challenge, stimulate and engage students and the greater public through direct interaction with works of contemporary art.