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Margaret Curtis
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

In 2005, I left an active career in NYC to be near Duke Childrens Hospital, after my son was born with a potentially devastating birth defect.

When I returned to painting, my concerns had shifted. Once a reluctant storyteller, I wanted to use narrative unapologetically as a gendered stance, a place of resistance to the cooler frameworks dominating post-war art-making. My subject matter is feminist, personal, political: the body as occupied territory, autonomy won through confrontation. Set in the social/psychological landscape of the South, my paintings explore everyday flexings of power, and conformist pressures toward silence.

My current practice combines targeted narrative with the painterly exuberance of earlier work—a love for the visceral, embodied voice of the paint itself, and the way it resists the imposition of subject matter while amplifying its meaning. As the political climate devolves, I want to address the mechanics of exclusion: shunning, shaming, schadenfruede.

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