John Currin has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University (1984) and an MFA from Yale University (1986). His paintings are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris; Tate Gallery in London; and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. He lives and works in New York. Allison Gingeras is an art critic who is adjunct curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Dave Eggers is the author of the best-selling A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and the editor of McSweeney's.
John Currinby Gagosian Gallery
One of the leading figurative painters of his generation, Currin's influences range from Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings to popular illustrations from the mid-20th century. Whether portraits of older women, buxom girls, nudes with elongated bodies, or group scenes of domestic life, his works are characterized by baroque gestures, loose brushstrokes,… See more details below
One of the leading figurative painters of his generation, Currin's influences range from Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings to popular illustrations from the mid-20th century. Whether portraits of older women, buxom girls, nudes with elongated bodies, or group scenes of domestic life, his works are characterized by baroque gestures, loose brushstrokes, unorthodox palettes, and detailed backgrounds that startle the viewer into a reconsideration of the tradition of painting. His "old master" techniques and individual style have earned him accolades from critics and collectors worldwide.
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John Currin's name is one that is frequently mentioned when conversations about figurative art today arise. He made his name with his well crafted paintings of buxom women - near distortions of chesty gals that made many viewers think about Pop Art. Some critics considered these quasi-comic book images as illustration for the voyeur and that idea about Currin's art is difficult to shed. Until books such as this magnificent volume produced by Rizzoli! In this volume that spans John Currin's career we are introduced to his early works of still lifes and head portraits and then the book proceeds into the realm of his famous semi-nude female tropes and the question arises: are these women a subtle mockery of the female form or are they a celebration of sensual, at times shallow, beauties delivered to the hungry eye of the male viewer? The authors of the essays provide fine insights as to the 'Rake's Progress' and lead the viewer through the very sensitive domestic views of both male couples and male/female couples while continuing to offer the facial portraits of women and men that make the viewer alter perception of just how fine a painter Currin is. John Currin may jolt the eye now and then but he also proves to be one of the more sensitive examiners of our current lifestyle. This book is a well designed, generous compendium of the work of the at times misunderstood painter John Currin. It will set the art history dialogue straight. Grady Harp