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The Bone Magic of Joy Curtis

By Brecht Wright Gander

April 28, 2024

Joy Curtis’s work was not always so soft, though it has always been precise in its peculiarity and guilelessness. Whereas her sculptural work c. 2014 mined a vocabulary of connective fascia, architectural lintels, and molding, Curtis now deals in innards, skin, and bones. Her current show at Klaus von Nichtssagend gallery, titled Night Hike and Ocean Grandma, follows 2019’s Skeleton Woman. But even without these titles to guide us, her work is recognizably inflected with a certain sensitivity to matriarchal lineage — the gory miracle of birth, the fecundity of death, generational divide and transmission.