(ChaShaMa Space, NYC)
Surface is a solo exhibition of recent paintings by French
artist, Robin Curtil. This exhibition
marks the artist’s debut solo presentation in New York. Temporary Surface continues Curtil’s exploration with paint and
impermanence. Tracing the temporality of space and time throughout his
immigration, these paintings are meditative reflections on his lived experience
in New York.
Curtil’s material interests border on the alchemical, manipulating paint and combining it with non-traditional materials with a sense of experimental wonder. Oil is used to pull textures from the uneven surfaces of nearby tabletops, transforming common, everyday objects into tools. The substrates themselves are discarded papers and posters found along his daily commute. These humble materials, imprinted with their own histories, consume, and transform the environment that Curtil inhabits. Through labored gestures, these recycled papers are fossilized between layers of paint and medium. Further engaging the specificity of place within his practice, Curtil uses color taken from his immediate surroundings. Greens peel back to reveal rich oxides read like layers of subway paint. These paintings hold layers of transparent pigment that constantly push elusive forms in and out of focus, nestling his work between abstraction and representation.
The process of gathering, sorting, collating, and associating imagery permeates throughout the works within Temporary Surface. Created over the past two years and across multiple series of paintings, Curtil’s work captures the immediacy and ephemerality of his time spent in the city. Each piece evokes the aesthetics of both individual and collective memory through a deep investigation into the act of painting.
Marissa Graziano, 2023