John Currin ( geb.1965

Geboren in 1965 Remscheidt (Germany). The early paintings of New York based John Currin include a series of portraits of teenage girls based on photos taken from a high-school yearbook, reduced to a set of uniform, characterless images with empty, black eyes He has continued to investigate stereo typical representations of different social groups in subsequent series, including a group of paintings of older women caught between icy glamour and touching vulnerability.

Currin, who had recently completed his M.F.A. at Yale University, was living in Hoboken, N.J., and trying to figure out how to break into the New York art world. As he tells it, he realized that the best way to stand out from the crowd of aspiring young artists was to do the thing nobody else was doing. So, he started making modest, easel-sized paintings, mostly portraits of young women loosely based on high-school yearbook photographs. "You get a lot of attention if you just play it straight," he said recently. Currin was in line with a few other young artists like Lisa Yuskavage, Elizabeth Peyton, and Jenny Saville.

Aside from his erudition, Currin is also a masterful provocateur. For his first solo show at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in 1992, he presented a group of acerbic fantasy portraits of aging Park Avenue doyennes rendered in a pared-down, linear style that did the job without calling too much attention to itself.Crass jokes rendered in oil on canvas, they are ostentatiously "bad paintings" done in the defiantly ironic mode of high-concept kitsch.

His more recent works, feature bearded, middle aged men, spornh dressed in country casuals, the implausible idols of wide eyed, busty young blondes Initially, these conjure a male fantasy of compliant, pneumatic femininity, but Currin is taking an ironic look at the relationship between the sexes, and the cliches of gender This irony is underlined by the way in which he caricatures his subjects, rendering their skin tones in heightened colours that would be at home in a Rococo painting but are quaindy anachronistic in a work of contemporary art.

As satires, the paintings are flaccid and familiar. They evoke the emptiness of suburban life without really showing us anything we haven't seen in a New Yorker cartoon or films like Happiness and The Ice Storm. What Currin offers is not social critique but satire lite: familiar images of upper-middle-class life overlaid with a veneer of art-historical seriousness Simultaneously snide and ingratiating, the paintings sneer at the social milieu of the art-viewing public while appealing to individual viewers' vanity and erudition—which may account for the work's broad popularity. When one of Currin's paintings goes wrong, his sly humor, perversity, and bad-is-good sensibility come running to the rescue. All of which makes Currin's work easy to like, but hard to love.


In the last few years, a painting by Currin has become the trophy of choice in Westchester living rooms, sending auction prices through the roof. (Last spring at Sotheby's, a work from 1995 sold for an astounding $427,500.)


Literatur: >This is Modern Art< , Matthew Collings, ISBN- 0-8230-5362-8

Originalartikel by msn , mirrored !

Talk of the Town

Critics love the painter John Currin. But why?

By Mia Fineman

Posted Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003, at 12:07 PM PT



(Click here to see the slide show of Currin's work.)



Skinny Woman, 1992


Almost every art season, there's one show courageous, compelling, or contentious enough to get everybody talking—like "Sensation," the controversial exhibition of Young British Artists at the Brooklyn Museum, or the Guggenheim's populist resurrection of Norman Rockwell. This year, the name on everybody's lips is John Currin, whose midcareer retrospective recently arrived at the Whitney Museum. By now, the major critics have weighed in on Currin's slyly satirical, figurative paintings, and the reviews have been unusually enthusiastic. There are some wildly different ideas about exactly what Currin is up to—New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman sees him as "a latter-day Jeff Koons" trafficking in postmodern irony while Peter Schjeldahl at The New Yorker finds him a blissfully sincere artist tapping into the timeless values of "mystery, sublimity, transcendence." But everyone is unanimous about one thing: John Currin can paint.


In almost every review, Currin's technical skill is acknowledged with a kind of breathless wonder. And to be sure, lately he has adopted a suave, Old Master-ish style, rendering the smooth, luminous skin of his nudes with real conviction—a marked departure from the intentionally crude technique of his earlier paintings. But this critical fixation on Currin's painterly technique raises the question: Why are we so surprised that a successful contemporary painter is good at putting pigment on canvas?



John Currin , von John Currin ,Taschenbuch - 124 Seiten - Taka Ishii Gallery , Erscheinungsdatum: 1. Februar 2003, engl.

John Currin von Rochelle Steiner (Other Contributor)

Harry N. Abrams (Juni 2003)

Gebundene Ausgabe / Sprache Englisch

John Currin von Robert Rosenblum

Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (1. Oktober 2002)

Gebundene Ausgabe / Sprache Englisch

John Currin: Works, 1989-1995 von Frederic Paul, u. a. , Fonds Regional D'Art Contemporain De Basse-No (April 1996)

Taschenbuch / Sprache Englisch