April 2008
Chicago Tribune


ILLINOIS JOURNEY OFFERS ABSTRACT RURAL SCENES, WOOD-SLAT LIGHT BOXES
Alan Artner


Kim Curtis is a painter who works in Champaign-Urbana, suggesting rather than transcribing elements of the rural landscape. Her strength lies in creating forms that one might pass in an automobile on the way to somewhere else.  The forms are abstract, but when caught in peripheral vision in dusky light, they trigger responses to what we know of, say, ponds or shipyards in cold seasons, thus becoming believable places without being literal or illustrative. As with the great Midwestern photographer Art Sinsabaugh, Curtis has an affinity for horizontals many times wider than they are high.  The ones on view at Kasia Kay Art Projects are the most extreme of any in her three exhibitions at the gallery and also are the most persuasive in handling. I prefer the uninterrupted 6-foot spans of “Longest Race,” “Long Fall” and “Long Fall II,” but the artist has cast several other pieces as triptychs that specifically deal with visual disruption, and these, too are successful. The variety of the pronounced horizontals, which suggest panoramic landscapes viewed from a long way off, is somewhat lost whenever the artist moves in closer or seeks the stability of a square format. She is more a poet in CinemaScope.