110 3rd Ave S. | Seattle Wa 98104
206.624.9336 | www.gallery110.com
Women (& Men) out of Line
January 2 – February 2, 2019
Five Chrysalis paintings $ 2150 each
Philadelphia, February–March, 2017
Artist Deborah Curtiss Explores Loss and Women's Strength in Exhibit
by Maleka Fruean
Deborah Curtiss, one of the founding artists of the Greene Street Artists Cooperative, displayed a special group of paintings on the second floor gallery of Earth-Bread + Brewery, 7136 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia (Mt. Airy). Included are her entire portrait series of women who inspired her to "be more than just a housewife and mother," three of the works from her "Threnody" series, [and six Foot paintings]. The works combine a variety of techniques and explore themes of loss, anger, and the power of a woman's strength in a world where Curtiss, who has been creating art for decades, has dealt with sexism in the art world all her life.
"We're still having to fight like hell," says Curtiss, talking about women's current place in art and in leadership positions throughout the world. It's a theme that even in 2013 has relevance - VIDA, the organization for women in the literary arts, just released the statistics of the significant under-representation of women's work in most of the major media outlets. Curtiss' portraits are of women who allowed her to see beyond what society was setting up for her in childhood and in her young adult years. The series includes paintings of Simone de Beauvoir, Alice Neel, Ellen Glasgow, Remedios Varo, Käthe Kollwitz, Virginia Woolf, Beatrice Wood, Lou Andreas Salome, and Martha Graham, all as seen through distinct chairs. Curtiss saw Graham perform in 1957, and was captivated by her powerful interpretations of overpowering women, which gave her the courage to pursue art. "With no idea at the time that I would aspire to be an artist, she [Graham] alone demonstrated the power of art to transform. And she transformed my life," says Curtiss.
Earth-Bread also features work from her "Threnody" series, which means "song of sorrow". "I made them when I had a major loss in my life," said Curtiss. "I lost my home, I had no bed. The paintings helped me heal. They were a sublimation - making something sublime from something that was so horrendous." The paintings consist of three vertically attached canvases with images of torsos and floors appropriated from master paintings onto which it looks as if the paint bleeds.
Four Ars Longa paintings $ 2150 each