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John Currin


Arguably one of the most important artists to emerge in the last decade and one of several figurative painters to receive attention in the 1990s, John Currin fuses historical and contemporary styles and source materials to create strange and challenging images that examine the tradition of painting and the meaning of representational painting today. His influences range from Italian and Northern Renaissance painters and the genre scenes of Courbet to popular illustrations from the first half of the 20th century and the pages of current fashion magazines. Difficult to pin down, Currin’s ambiguous works are as compelling as they are frustrating. His detached yet somewhat sympathetic individual portrayals as well as his unsettling scenarios foster a psychological investigation of representation and desire.

This survey, which will tour in the US and Europe, is comprised of 40 paintings from 1991 to the present and is Currin’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. This exhibition is coorganized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Serpentine Gallery, London.


Support for this exhibition has been provided by Donna and Howard Stone, Edwin C. Cohen and the Blessing Way Foundation, Andrea and James Gordon, and David Teiger. Additional support has been provided by Richard A. Lenon. Accommodations provided by the Park Hyatt Chicago.