San Antonio-native Aaron Curry grew up visiting the McNay, and has lived and worked in Los Angeles for over a decade. In this homecoming exhibition, HEADROOM is Curry’s first-ever presentation in San Antonio. He is the eighth artist to present work in the AT&T Lobby in the last 10 years.
HEADROOM consists of newly created surface coverings, a painting, and two sculptures selected specifically to activate the Museum’s lobby window area and surrounding walls. The repeated design pattern references the early days of image digitization as seen in video games and through copy machines. The work also nods to modern art and science fiction, which have been constant sources of inspiration throughout Curry’s career.
“From the moment visitors step foot into the McNay, they are immersed in Aaron Curry’s world of visual theatre and experience his sense of whimsy,” said René Paul Barilleaux, McNay Head of Curatorial Affairs and curator of HEADROOM. “The playfulness of Curry’s lobby installation belies its foundation in classic modern painting and sculpture. His artworks both pay homage to and reinvent abstract painting and sculpture.”
Trained as a painter, Curry became interested in what he describes as “this idea of trying to pull something out into the real world,” which ultimately led him to making sculpture. He regards his sculptures as paintings, composing them out of an assortment of flat, whimsical shapes cut from plywood, cardboard, or aluminum. These forms reference Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Chicago Imagists, cartoons, and the modernist works of Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and Pablo Picasso, all of whom are represented in the McNay’s collection.
Aaron Curry’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at The Bass, Miami Beach; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Lincoln Center, New York; and Rubell Family Collection, Miami. He is represented in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Minneapolis Institute of Art; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, among others.
HEADROOM is organized for the McNay Art Museum by René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs.
Lead funding is generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Ewing Halsell Foundation.
Portrait by: Arthur Pequin