Curtis Simmons Biography

Curtis Simmons began experimenting with oil on large canvas as a means of thinking about and visualizing the abstract architectural elements of space, form, and light while getting a Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University in the early 1990s. In Los Angeles while working on his Master of Architecture at UCLA, he expanded this line of inquiry to the tectonics of architecture by painting with lacquer on masonite. The transparency of lacquer proved an excellent means of complicating the classics of perspective, horizon, edge, and shadow with the abstraction of architectural space and light. In the late 1990s Curtis was working and living in Vail, Colorado, his birth state, and painting and thinking with watercolor for its layering qualities. Now in Kansas City, Curtis continues to work with oil, lacquer, watercolor, and has added sculpture and installation to this rather eclectic mix of tools for his thought process.

Artist's Statement

When Curtis begins a painting, he does not have form or image in mind. Rather, he lets his place in the world—the relationships, situations, and environments—reveal itself through paint. This organic, yet architectural process works to record and characterize a moment in time through the use of color, texture, light, and form. Curtis then looks for the essential systems and rhythms within the piece, risks manipulation of these systems, strives to create a sense of structure and order. He works within and with these systems—exposing, hiding and distorting them—until the painting or sculpture exists, true to integrity of its own. In all of this, Curtis expects and allows chance and anomaly to play a meaningful part in his inquiry. Giving free run to his curiosity, taking risk, and struggling with the complications of process, Curtis works to realize the piece in all its complexity and intensify. The painting, when hung on the wall is still in process. The viewer, a new and essential addition to the inquiry, extends the painting’s act of becoming.