Women (& Men) out of Line
Thursday, January 3, 2019, 5-8:30pm
Exhibition Dates: January 3-February 2, 2019
This exhibition marks the Seattle debut by artist Deborah Curtiss. Having relocated from Philadelphia in 2017, Curtiss’s unique approach to synthesizing drawing and painting quickly caught the eye of several curators such that her works already have been included in multiple group exhibits throughout Seattle and vicinity.
Call them “Draintings” or “Pawings,” the tactile aspects of synthesizing drawing and painting
techniques on unprimed linen canvas within each of the works is the unifying aspect of the
exhibit. As if this isn’t enough, only one-third of the pieces in the show conform to the
rectangular “window view” that has dominated Western art since the Renaissance. The
remainder are what Curtiss calls “trapezial”: four sides of unequal length, for which she
specifies that no edge be a true vertical or horizontal. She thereby provides a unique
perspective, and gives visual voice for a variety of realities that lie beyond the obvious and
dwell in elusive, ineffable realms.
From studying Chinese Ink Painting early in her career, Curtiss incorporates a Zen-like
consciousness with respect to her subject matter, all the while paying homage to the history of
Western Art through her depiction of the human figure as metaphor for the complexities of life,
inner and other realities of being human, and our place on planet Earth. “Inspired by the
richness of Nature, the built environment, the human figure, and the impulse to create,” Curtiss
notes, “I am continuously enticed to express and represent feelings and perceptions that can be
articulated no other way.”
Selections from two bodies of her work comprise the exhibit at Gallery 110. “Chrysalis”
connotes that magical transitional state during which a worm or caterpillar transforms into a
beautiful butterfly. The five Chrysalis paintings were inspired by such passages in her own life,
from deep hurt to an emergent freshness and new beginnings— one of which brought her to
The four Ars Longa paintings appropriate master drawings —one each by Hendrik Goltzius
(1558–1617) and Annibale Carracci (1560–1609), and two by François Boucher (1703–1770—
on which Curtiss superimposes impasto images of antique structures and/or maps. Together
with ten Vita Brevis paintings (locally available but not on exhibit), they are part of series
inspired by the concept, “Obscure Cities.”
Born in New York City, Deborah Curtiss was educated at Antioch College, Yale University School
of Art, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she also taught drawing, painting,
and graduate seminars. She was a founding member of the Greene Street Artists Cooperative
where she lived and created for the previous 25 years. She has received numerous awards, is in
multiple permanent collections in the United States, and in private collections in Canada,
France, Germany, Israel, Kuwait, Japan, Scotland, as well as throughout the US.
Established in 2002 in Seattle’s Pioneer Square art district, Gallery 110 is a non-profit, artist-run
collective that presents collectable contemporary art in a wide variety of media. The range of
genre represented by Gallery 110 artists offers a broad palette of thought, approach and media,
promoting dialogue and reflection; our Gallery structure allows for the presentation of
challenging solo shows, curated exhibitions, public opportunities and collaborative projects.
Image: ARS (longa). Graphite & acrylic on Unprimed linen canvas. 28, 30, 48, 50 inches.