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In his earlier career, Currin distinguished himself by painting controversial depictions of female subjects, from drab menopausal women to ebullient big-breasted girls. Over the years, his increasingly complex depictions of the figure have continued to repel or enchant, often a peculiar combination of the two. Labeled variously as mannerist, caricaturist, radical conservative or simply prankster, Currin continues to evade categorization. Currin’s latest series of compelling and contentious paintings attests to his continuing exploration and elaboration of the history of figurative art. Mining sources as diverse as Old Master portraits, 1970s Playboy magazine advertisements, and mid-twentieth century film, he has produced beautifully rendered yet queasy compositions that suggest a slippery and challenging new aesthetic rooted in the artifice and stylistic extravagance of High Mannerism. With their superb technical accomplishment, achieved through the close study and emulation of the compositional devices, graphic rhythms and refined surfaces of sixteenth and seventeenth century European painting, combined with an edgy contemporary subject matter entirely the artist’s own, Currin’s paintings continue to stimulate vigorous debate. In this latest body of work, Currin’s concerns range from eroticism and procreation to mail-order porcelain.

To mark this exhibition, Gagosian Gallery has published a comprehensive monograph of Currin’s paintings, drawings and related source materials from 1988 to the present. John Currin includes essays by Norman Bryson, Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego; Alison M. Gingeras, Adjunct Curator, Guggenheim Museum; and novelist Dave Eggers. It is distributed byRizzoli. Gagosian Gallery will also presentCurrin’s first print portfolio Milestones, a series of seven etchings with drypoint and aquatint in anedition of 45, published in collaboration with Sadie Coles HQ.

John Currin was born in Boulder, Colorado, in 1962 and obtained a B.F.A from Carnegie Mellon University (1984) following by a M.F.A from Yale University (1986). He lives and works in New York. In 2003, a traveling exhibition of drawings was organized by the Des Moines Art Center. In the same year 2003, MOCA Chicago initiated a mid-career survey of his painting, which traveled to The Serpentine Gallery, London and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.  Source:



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