I loved this installation of art by Timothy Curtis at the Albertz Benda booth at the Armory Show last month. As you can see, there are large canvases that are surrounded by (and sometimes hang on top of) inkblot paintings that remind me of Rorshach art.
Timothy Curtis is a self-taught artist who grew up in Philadelphia and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. The gallery described this installation in their booth as “an ongoing series of inkblot paintings and a new multipaneled painting created as homage to his late brother and his community in Philadelphia.” It continues: (the work) “addresses themes of loss and addiction without succumbing to tragedy – the painting is also a celebration of life, and Curtis’s process involves working in the company of friends, family, and other artists.”
I think another reason I like this work is that in addition to the fantastic Rorshach-like works on paper, the canvases remind me (in a round-about way) of one of my favorite artists, Philip Guston. This may only be my interpretation, and the work does not have direct correlation to Guston’s work, it’s just a feeling of familiarity that adds to my enjoyment of Mr. Curtis’ work. For example, when I look at the painting above, titled “In US We Trust,” the way the heads and eyes are portrayed brings to mind something vaguely like this, or this. The painting below, titled “Bike System,” is a visual pile-up of bikes, and kind of reminds me of Guston’s pile-up of legs and feet in this painting. I’m just making these comparisons for fun, I love Timothy Curtis’ work on its own without any references to Guston. To see more paintings by Timothy Curtis, check out his website here.