Flowers Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Ken Currie. Following on from his recent show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery these paintings continue to examine the relationship between painting, power and portraiture.
This exhibition explores among other things the inherent absurdity of the human situation and has drawn influence from the Spanish Masters Velázquez and Goya. Both these painters worked in the Royal Courts but recognized the vanity, and indeed, idiocy in the rituals and protocols of court life. The figures in Currie’s work nod to the icons of the Old Masters, but contain a barely concealed hint of satire of our own contemporary version of court life.
In these new paintings Currie examines the universal human desire to transcend mortality and forces the viewer to confront the comic futility of such ambitions. He directs our attention to the dead and dying, and juxtaposes the beautiful with the grotesque.
Currie’s paintings reveal an imagined world where the boundaries between the rational and the irrational are subtly blurred. In writing on his work he has said: “I want the viewer to be simultaneously attracted and repulsed by my work in the same glance. My aim is to provoke anxiety and discomfort in the act of looking... to hold their gaze then mercilessly unsettle them.”
Ken Currie was born in 1960 and currently resides in Glasgow. He graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1983 and has been exhibited internationally. His work is held in many collections including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the National Library of Scotland, the Tate Britain, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Yale Center for British Art and The New York Public Library.