Saturday, April 23, 2011

Joy Curtis

Curtis had just taken down an outstanding solo show at Klaus Von Nitchssagend a week before I came by. It was like a homecoming studio visit. Her sculptures were all wrapped up in blankets, adding a special calmness and warmth to the space and our time together.

Joy: It looks warm outside, but don't let it deceive you, it's just the sunlight. Spring isn't coming.

 We talked over the show, her sculptures to come, and how she approaches new work. We spoke about what kind of materials she is thinking of for her next project and the adventures she will go on to find them. Joy can tell a story and when she does it is like you are living that story with her. She had a perfect kind of nervous excitement in her voice, the kind that can only come when you are ready to make your next big move. I asked questions about the different things in her studio. Curtis explained various processes and showed me what she does with her excess plaster. She rolls it up into balls, which she collects in a bucket. I thought that was really cool.

Joy: Have you seen this salt bath? It's crazy. This guy was sitting in it for a long time. Here, look it's still growing.
Hiding away with her cats, she sat down and drew with me. Both of us focused on tables and shelves covered in her plaster pieces.

Lappy stole my seat when I got up to take some pictures.

Joy: I love having an excuse to buy another vice grip. I think all sculptors do.

I was hoping she would make me dinner, and at the end of our time in her studio, this turned out to be true. I was a lucky visitor.  I chatted more with Curtis and her husband, painter Mike Olin. We talked about a backpacking trip they were getting ready for in the Shenandoahs. Sounds like a sublime way to wind down from a solo show. And the dinner was a truly lovely way to end the evening. 

To see more of Curtis' work go to  Klaus Von Nitchssagend. Also check out this great interview with Hrag Vartanian at Hyperallergic, Sculpture Today: A Discussion with Joy Curtis and Rachel Beach.

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