July 13 – August 7, 2020
Tom Curry: Gradients of Light
This solo show highlights recent work by Tom Curry, an accomplished painter, who paints near his home in Brooklin, Maine. The show includes several new portraits of Chatto, an island just offshore from Curry’s home that has become the subject of an ongoing series of more than sixty paintings. In the essay for the exhibition catalog, art historian Carl Little explains how Curry’s work captures the mood of the country in these uncertain times, “Mirage-like, Chatto becomes a manifestation of one’s desire to find something enduring in the view—in what can sometimes be a dark world.”
An en plein air painter at heart, Curry is most at home working outdoors in direct contact with the clear, searing light or a dense fog, the heat of the sun or a frigid wind, the sounds of crickets or the distant drone of a fishing boat, and the smell of salt air. “I still can’t believe how gorgeous it [Maine] is; it’s serene, but disheveled; it’s raw and not overly organized.” For Curry, the landscape is more than a passive backdrop of scenery. His work explores the passing of time and the relationship between stillness and flux. He wants the viewer to feel alive—to experience the wild, muscular, and ultimately unknowable mysteries of natural forces that are breathing, ever changing, and seamless. The enduring magnetism of Curry’s island paintings has been his ability to depict what he calls the paradox of place: “It is not fixed, but always changing—the light shifts from moment to moment, water is never still, clouds come and go.”
Curry’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Down East Magazine, Art New England, Island Journal, Bangor Daily News, Ellsworth American, The Boston Globe, and The New Yorker. Curry earned his MS from University of Massachusetts in 1987. He holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, 1981, and he completed a Graduate Program at Yale University in 1982.