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Chris Curchin attended the Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts on a National Scholastics Scholarship, studying film in an experimental film program.He showed regularly at Highwire Gallery co-op in the 1990's and has exhibited work at the Allentown Art Museum, Delaware County Community College, William Way Center among others. A self-taught painter, he currently works at an arts-based preschool in Philadelphia.
I work both abstractly and figuratively, primarily in oil on canvas.
My figurative work involves faces and figures decorated with dots of color in motifs of flower, rosette, teardrop, scroll and leaf. For me they express an allusion to mortality, matter and energy fields. I often do graphite and water color studies as preparation for the paintings.
There are dot elements in decorative techniques used around the world in various forms. Mine developed out of restoration work on Moroccan painted furniture, but later evolved in connection with my experiences with meditation and Reiki. I see these painting as largely decorative but also, perhaps, distant estranged cousins of the pointillism of Seurat, the Aboriginal art that evolved in the 1970s, or Roy Lichtenstein's ben-day dots.
My abstract work is an ongoing experiment to explore non-representation. I work with glazes, and heavily scratched surfaces, in a search for non-space/ non-form surfaces that bristle with movement and drama. Less rigorously controlled than my figurative work, the abstracts are more free-form with an element of compulsive mark making, playful and aggressive. I initially began experimenting with abstraction after being enthralled by the Mondrian Exhibition I saw in Washington, DC in 1995.
Borders Center City, Philadelphia, PA
Portraits, Philadelphia Art Alliance Dining Room, Philadelphia, PA
Two - Person
Solid World and Other Paintings, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
With Jeanne Nugent
215/620 Emerging Regional Artists, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
Juror: Donald Kuspit
Member Exhibition: InLiquid, PPAC, Second State, at Ice Box Project Space and Grey Area, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA
2nd Annual Juried Show, William Way, Philadelphia, PA
29th Annual Juried Show, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
A Sense of Place, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO
Hanzpeak, Reiki School and Clinic, Philadelphia, PA
Annual Exhibition, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Borders Center City, Philadelphia, PA
4th Annual Exhibition, William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, PA
Jurors: Ivy Barsky and John Ollman
Candle Opera: Installation by candle light, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Selective Vision, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Jeanne Nugent
WaterIslandBridge, Multi-media installation and Outdoor Sculpture, Petty’s Island, Camden, NJ and Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1992 - 1995
Highwire Collective Rotating Group Shows, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Cathartic Fixations and Concrete Abstractions: 3 Artists, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2008 - present
Teacher/Manager, AKWD Preschool, Philadelphia, PA
1999 - 2008
Assistant Teacher, HMS School for Children With Cerebral Palsy
1978 - 1999
Various Restaurants and House Painting
Artists of Northern Liberties 2005 Calendar (January)
Set Design and Construction, "Gothic Tales," Greg Giovanni, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Set Design and Construction,"Napoleon Pullapart, Parts 5 & 5 1/2," Big Mess Theater, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Set Design, "Lucy: The Opera," Big Mess Theater, Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
University of the Arts(formerly Philadelphia College of Art), Philadelphia, PA