West by Midwest

Aaron Curry




Aaron Curry is born in San Antonio, Texas.

1970s 1975

Karl Wirsum teaches at SAIC. Aaron Curry cites Wirsum as an important figure for him.




Aaron Curry moves to Chicago.

late 1990s 1999

Amanda Ross-Ho meets Aaron Curry and Sterling Ruby through Ruby’s first wife, Kirsten Stoltmann.


Sterling Ruby moves to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he meets fellow student Aaron Curry.




Aaron Curry attends SAIC and receives his BFA in 2002 alongside friend and classmate Sterling Ruby. Curry fondly remembers teachers Barbara Rossi and Karl Wirsum.


Aaron Curry and Sterling Ruby move to California to get their MFAs at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, where Richard Hawkins and Mike Kelley are teachers. Ruby cites Kelley and the exhibition Helter Skelter as reasons he moved to California.

Aaron Curry talks about his interest in moving to LA.

Video Transcript

All these artists I was interested in were teaching out here. So I was like, "Let’s go." So we made it out here. And went to school. That was really—I wasn’t like, "Oh, you know . . . " I was fascinated by the culture here because I had grown up being a BMX racer. And a skateboarder. And all that originated here. So a lot of the things I was looking at visually had originated here—even what people were wearing. But I wasn’t like, "Oh, I really want to move to LA because it’s this amazing, beautiful place." I didn’t even think about it.


Aaron Curry is included in the group exhibition Southern Exposure at the Wight Gallery, UCLA.


Sterling Ruby curates the group exhibition Autonomy at Foxy Production, which includes Aaron Curry and his future wife, Melanie Schiff.

mid-2000s 2005

After graduate school, Sterling Ruby moves to Los Angeles and leases an old warehouse on Fishburn Avenue near Hazard Park in Boyle Heights to use as studio space for himself and other artist friends, including Aaron Curry and Amanda Ross-Ho.


Sterling Ruby curates the exhibition Post Rose: Artists in and out of the Hazard Park Complex at Galerie Christian Nagel in Berlin, which includes Aaron Curry and Amanda Ross-Ho.

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Aaron Curry and Richard Hawkins collaborate to produce Trophy, brown (2011). The piece is included in Cornfabulation, a collective exhibition between Curry and Hawkins at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles.


Jim Nutt has a solo exhibition at MCA Chicago titled Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character. It is accompanied by Seeing Is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion, which included works by Nutt, Aaron Curry, Mike Kelley, Bruce Nauman, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum.


Aaron Curry and Sterling Ruby are included in the group exhibition Phantom Limb: Approaches to Painting Today at MCA Chicago.


Aaron Curry, Laura Owens, and Sterling Ruby are included in the group exhibition Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting.


Aaron Curry, Gladys Nilsson, and Jim Nutt are included in the group exhibition Surrealism: The Conjured Life at MCA Chicago.


Aaron Curry organizes the group exhibition Press your space face close to mine, featuring Karl Wirsum, at The PIT in Los Angeles.

Related tags

Mike Kelley Bruce Nauman Gladys Nilsson Jim Nutt Laura Owens Amanda Ross-Ho Sterling Ruby Melanie Schiff Karl Wirsum Art Institute of Chicago ArtCenter Boyle Heights California Chicago Illinois Los Angeles MCA Chicago Pasadena SAIC UCLA Hairy Who Helter Skelter

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The Hazard Park Complex


Related tags

Aaron Curry Mike Kelley Amanda Ross-Ho Sterling Ruby Art Institute of Chicago ArtCenter California Chicago Los Angeles MCA Chicago Pasadena SAIC USC