1. medial Global Art Annual
   30.06.05     30.06.06


Country: USA  
Deborah Curtiss

    1.SPRING SLEEP, acrylic on selectively primed linen canvas, 42x66 in., framed1x3 in. walnut. © 2005    2.SUMMER SLEEP, acrylic on selectively primed linen canvas, 42x66 in. framed 1x3 in. walnut. © 2005    3.AUTUMN SLEEP, acrylic on selectively primed linen canvas, 42x66 in., framed 1x3 in. walnut. © 2005    4.WINTER SLEEP, acrylic on selectively primed linen canvas, 42x66 in., framed 1x3 in. walnut. © 2005





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After attending Antioch College, Deborah Pratt Curtiss received training in art at Yale University School of Art, receiving a degree in painting. She went on to teach drawing, painting, design, and visual literacy at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia College of Art (where she also acquired a Master of Arts degree in art education with a thesis in brain hemispheric specialization as it relates to visual thinking and expression), Temple University, Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University, and elsewhere. From 1993 to 1998 she taught graduate seminars in “Structure & Metaphor” and “Art & Design in Society” at University of the Arts College of Art & Design.

She is author of Introduction to Visual Literacy (Prentice-Hall, 1987), co-author of Making Art Safely (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993, now with John Wiley & Sons), and more than 300 published articles that address topics of visual expression, literacy and education. A member of the International Visual Literacy Association, she is internationally known for her lectures, slide presentations and visual literacy consulting through Deep See (initials D P C).As a member of the multicultural, collaborative thematic exhibiting group, Tabula Rasa, her recent exhibits include: Madison Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Union Gallery, 2003, Water: Identity Through Place (15 paintings). Abington (PA) Art Center, 2000, Identity Through Objects (11 paintings). Philadelphia PA, Eastern State Penitentiary, 1997, Obscure Cities (20 paintings). Philadelphia PA, University of Pennsylvania Meyerson Gallery, 1997, Obscure Cities (20 paintings). Pittsburgh PA, University of Pittsburgh Frick Gallery, 1995, Prague, Secret Fire (9 paintings). oronto Ontario, Canada, University of Toronto Sala Gallery, 1994. Prague, Secret Fire (4 paintings). Deborah Curtiss has had many solo exhibits, participated in numerous juried / invited group shows, and her works are in public and private collections in Canada, Germany, Israel, and Japan as well as throughout the United States. A founding member of Greene Street Artists, she lives and works in the home / studio of her dreams.



Creating the illusion of space and volume on a flat surface is, to me, the single most fascinating, compelling and dynamic aspect of painting. This quartet exemplifies just some of the intriguing visual phenomena that have inspired and been incorporated in my paintings for the past 45 years:
¨ The raw linen canvas serves multiple functions: It is the background. It is the outline of each figure and the negative spaces in the botanical and earth forms.
In Summer and Autumn, the canvas is also the positive form of a studio stool. Where one of these aspects runs into another, no separation is made except by the viewer’s eye.
¨ Being a neutral color, the Belgian fine-weave canvas can also perform as a chameleon. For example, in Summer Sleep, the outline of the figure appears to be the green of the apple tree foliage while the negative spaces in the tree appear to be the pink of the figure. The outline of Winter Sleep figure and the negative spaces in the brown earth likewise reciprocate (to see the actual paintings is to believe…).
¨ A common and effective way to create the illusion of space, utilized by Renaissance masters up to the present, is that of a tile floor depicted in perspective. Each of these paintings incorporates just enough opaque tiles to support the figures, with alternate tiles omitted or suggested as transparent, through which the seasonal “scapes” may be viewed.
¨ Due to the foreshortened drawing of the pictures, although painted in flat colors, they, too, imply volume and depth. My daughter, then 11, modeled for Spring. Summer and Winter models were dancers, Autumn a professional model.
The paintings are acrylic on four selectively primed linen canvases, each 42” x 66”, professionally framed in 1” x 3” dark walnut. The interior frames may be removed and the four paintings fastened and hung together as shown at the lower left, measuring 85” x 135” (7’ x 11’). This quartet concluded a period of quasi-minimalist figure works, one of which, Too, is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.