Frans Hals Museum Presents John Currin Exhibition

. October 9, 2011 . 0 Comments

The Frans Hals Museum presents paintings by John Currin (1962) in an encounter with the work of Cornelis van Haarlem (1562 – 1638) for an exhibition on view 7th October to 8th January, 2011.

The American artist John Currin is well known for his realistic paintings in which commonplace scenes alternate with explicitly erotic images. Solo exhibitions of Currin’s work have been staged in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In the ‘Conversation Piece’ series, the Frans Hals Museum would like to present the collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth century paintings in a new light.

Like Van Haarlem, Currin favours a cool approach to the figures, which are depicted not so much as human beings, but rather as objects that have been covered in human skin. Although four centuries separate them, they both show a remarkable preference for strange distortions and anatomical exaggerations to animate their staging. It is also striking that they both often include a static still life in an otherwise lively picture. The way a dish of carefully arranged fruit appears in a Bible scene by Cornelis van Haarlem or ornate white Wedgwood china turns up in one of John Currin’s erotic pieces can border on the absurd.

Currin usually works from photographs or with the aid of dolls, but he uses live models for specific details like translucent veins or light reflected in long blonde hair.

The Frans Hals Museum is a municipal museum in Haarlem, Netherlands. The museum was founded in 1862 in the newly renovated former cloister located in the back of the Haarlem city hall known as the Prinsenhof. The collection is based on the wealthy collection of the city hall itself, including more than a dozen paintings by Frans Hals, for whom it is named, but also contains other interesting Haarlem art from the 15th century up to the present day. The collection moved to the present location in 1913, and the modern collection is located in the two buildings on the town square called the Hallen, for the former occupations of the buildings, the Fish Hall and the Meat Hall. The main collection, including the Frans Hals paintings, is currently located on the Klein Heiligland, across the street from the Haarlem historical museum. www.franshalsmuseum.nl

Image: John Currin, The Old Fur, 2010<

Category: Exhibition News