Escaping Earth: The Kinetic Work of Casey Curran

January 25, 2020 — March 29, 2020
Main Gallery

Exhibition Reception
Friday, January 24, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
The evening will also feature the opening of Drawn to the Work: Illustration and Craft in Conversation in the Front Gallery and open studios by the current resident artists.  Beer generously provided by Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is pleased to present Escaping Earth: The Kinetic Work of Casey Curran, featuring kinetic sculptures, asteroid paintings, and installations that reflect the haunting beauty of human innovation and its aftermath. The exhibition, which is Curran’s first solo show outside of Washington State, showcases the artist’s ability to create exquisite sculptures that convey the complexities found within nature, art, and architecture.

In this collection of work, Curran questions the human psyche and the ultimate purpose behind the human drive to define and create.  Representing the impulse to control nature for human consumption, his kinetic sculptures evoke a sense of curiosity and wonder in the viewer.  In pieces like “Seed,” he presents a garden of ghostly, lace-like forms that bloom into gothic tableaus of flora and fauna.  He comments, “We have created both beauty and desolation, defined only through the lens of our goals, and it is through this lens, this eye of the beholder, that I bring a seed of an idea to the audience.”

Curran is also fascinated by the history and future legacy of human innovation and discovery, drawing parallels between the two. Historically, civilizations have tried to make sense of both the infinite and microscopic aspects of the Universe. Curran’s asteroid paintings depict glimpses of these endeavors, as captured by various space programs. The paintings flank a large-scale sculpture of an asteroid, which the artist created using a combination of laser-cutting and handmade techniques during his recent residency with Amazon. The asteroid’s surface design mimics the geometry of stained-glass windows in cathedrals, mosques, and Buddhist temples, bringing together the sacred and profane.

This exhibition captures the impact of human aspirations on the finite system of resources found in the terrestrial environment, as well as on the new frontier of outer space.  HCCC Curator, Kathryn Hall comments, “Curran captures both the beauty and the dark side of innovation. While we continue to build monuments that mark our existence, and we seek to colonize new frontiers, Curran questions the overall costs of this quest for immortality on our ecosystem, giving pause to the universal impact of the human race.”

 Escaping Earth: The Kinetic Work of Casey Curran is curated by HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall.

About Casey Curran
Based in Seattle, Washington, Casey Curran is a metalsmith who holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. Curran has exhibited internationally in several group shows and numerous times in Washington State. He has been the recipient of various awards and residencies, including the 2019 Amazon Artist-in-Residence (Seattle, WA); the G.A.P. Grant, Artist Trust (2014/2010, Seattle, WA); 1st Place in the City Arts: Fall Art Walk Awards (2014); the Sculpture Space Residency (2013/2010, Utica, NY); and Best of Show for the Poncho IFA Awards (2008/2007). Visit www.caseycurran.comfor more information.

Image credits:

  1. Casey Curran, Detail of “We spoke like this to remember,” 2019. Dura-Lar, brass, motor. 84 x 36 x 40 inches. Photo by Adrian Garcia.
  2. Casey Curran, “Tusk,” 2019. Chicken pelt, brass, wood, motor, acrylic. 24 x 24 x 10 inches. Photo by Fritz Rodriguez.
  3. Casey Curran, Detail of “Seed,” 2019. Aluminum, Dura-Lar, brass, motor. 60 x 132 x 20 inches. Photo by Fritz Rodriguez.
  4. Casey Curran, “Jericho,” 2019. Salt and wood. 144 x 144 inches. Photo by artist.
  5. Casey Curran, “951 Gaspra,” 2012. Oil on canvas. 32 x 32 inches. Photo by artist.