Artist Spotlight | Erin Curtis

Erin Curtis makes paintings that look like sculptures, and sculptures that look like paintings.

This year, the Austin artist was commissioned by the City of Austin to create a permanent sculpture series for downtown 3rd Street, a resulting grouping that is architectural and geometric, with squat pyramids and tall pillars, featuring brick chevron patterns reminiscent of those in quilts or woven fabric. After graduating from the University of Texas with a MFA in Studio Art, Curtis received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Jaipur, India, where she learned about traditional craft and textile. The influence of Indian craft and textile is evident in her bright paintings, which explosively weave and layer color. Curtis says the experience also influenced the way she thinks about herself as a maker. “In India there are still so many people working in traditional ways,” she explains. “It really gave me a new appreciation for the time and skill it takes to make things by hand.” Until January, Curtis will be featured at Laguna Gloria’s Gatehouse Gallery, where she has created Curtain Wall, a double-sided painting/sculpture that references textile traditions from around the world. Additionally, she has installed several new sculptures that accompany guests as they walk up to the gallery door. Made with glazed bricks from the Elgin Butler Company, the sculptures bring to mind fragments of a colorful lost civilization. Additionally, her bright banners swing over the walkway, welcoming viewers into a joyous and colorful art experience. “In the studio, I have always had a variety of influences—modernist architecture, furniture design, and textiles, to name a few,” she explains. “In some ways it has felt very natural to be able to explore different materials and dimensions with this new work.” Curtis’s exhibition, Furthest West, will run through January 5, 2014. For more information visit, thecontemporaryaustin.org or erinelizabethcurtis.com.


Image courtesy of Erin Curtis


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