The people I paint don’t exist. The only thing that is real is the painting. It’s not like a photograph where there’s another reality that existed at a certain moment in time in the past. The image is only happening right now and this is the only version of it. To me, that’s fascinating. It’s an eternal moment.
Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings by John Currin.
Currin’s depictions of the female figure enchant and repel, often in equal measure. Labeled as a mannerist, caricaturist, radical conservative, or satirist, Currin continues to confound expectations and evade categorization. While his meticulous and virtuosic technique is indebted to the history of classical painting, the images themselves engage startlingly contemporary ideas about the representation of the human figure. With inspirations as diverse as old master portraits, pinups, and mid-twentieth-century B movies, Currin continues to paint ideational yet challengingly perverse images of female subjects, from lusty nymphs to more ethereal feminine prototypes. With his uncanny ability to locate the point at which the beautiful and the grotesque are held in perfect balance, he continues to produce subversive portraits of idiosyncratic women in conventional settings. The latest additions to his cast include the demure Constance Towers and the extravagant Mademoiselle, presented here alongside scenes of bourgeois erotic abandon, such as The Women of Franklin Street.
A fully illustrated catalogue is forthcoming, featuring an interview with the artist by Angus Cook and short fiction essays by Wells Tower.
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.