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May 20, 2011 to August 21, 2011

Chad Curtis: Speculative Landscapes

Chad Curtis presented a body of work reconfigured specifically for the gallery space, entitled Speculative Landscapes. This multimedia construction incorporated ceramics with found objects, live plants and a digitally designed support system of shelving. Live moss encased in terrariums, referencing the Industrial Revolution when these miniature garden landscapes became popular, alluded to Curtis’ interest in the shift in the relationship between humankind and nature that occurred so rapidly in the 19th century. This was combined with multiple clay evergreen trees signifying the artificiality of the ideal landscape, both in the past as well as today. According to Curtis, “these miniature landscapes, coupled with iconic trees made of raw clay, (were) situated on a complex system of shelving (both digitally designed and milled) that creates multiple, dislocated horizon lines, which becomes a literal intersection of design, landscape, and technology. Not unlike the Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution has further distanced the human relationship to the natural world, ushering in an era of mediated experiences removed from the world of tactility and the physical nature of the body.”

Curtis received an M.F.A. from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY. He is an Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Previously, Curtis taught at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, and Pomona College, Claremont, CA.

Tags: ceramics, installation, mixed media