Gagosian is pleased to present new work by John Currin. This is Currin’s first exhibition with the gallery.
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 a 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 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 by Rizzoli. Gagosian will also present Currin’s first print portfolio Milestones, a series of seven etchings with drypoint and aquatint in an edition of 45, published in collaboration with Sadie Coles HQ, London.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.
Drawing is a First Date
John Currin speaks with Brett Littman about drawing.
John Currin: On Drawing
John Currin on the relationship between his drawing and painting practices.
The artist speaks with Derek Blasberg on Los Angeles, Kippenberger, and his newest body of work.