This is the first solo exhibition of works by Laurence Curtis for six years, it focuses on his new ceramic artworks. Curtis over the last few years has been working on a body of work that has slowly coalesced together. He often quotes Paul Klee; who he remembers seeing first on the front covers of LP’s in a record store. Klee’s quote on the idea that its ok to start with chaos, and then bring order seems relevant, Curtis’s studio appearing to the untrained eye a little chaotic, but he has created for himself a place that has the right set of conditions for creativity and productivity to manifest itself.
When Curtis first attended art school he wanted to be creative, he tried lots of different things, he found that he was drawn to ‘sculpture’ which seemed natural to him. Before his art education he hitchhiked to the Tate and he came into contact with works by Constantin Brâncuși who was one of the first sculptors that left an impression on him. There is a real variety in the different approaches and materials that Curtis has used and experimented with since he left art school in the 1970s.
In these new artworks, the natural looking Verdigris, the mixture of smooth and rough cracked surfaces in these new ceramic works make them almost look like vessels that were unearthed or organically formed fossils rather than being man made. Since being a young boy, Curtis has been a frequent visitor of museums to look at the objects. He values an object not for its contemporality but for how it speaks to him.
Curtis has no expectation for the viewer, he sees the relationship between his work and the viewer rather like the analogy that Wittgenstein made of the Beetle in a Box. Wittgenstein stated that we all have a beetle in our boxes... but we are never allowed to see in anyone else’s box at their beetle. Very… very… roughly what Wittgenstein believed was that we all have our own private meanings and relationships to things, but these relationships remain clouded from others because we cannot fully communicate a true representation of our own experience and understanding of things.