April 7 – May 5, 2018
At once liberating and constricting, the many boundaries humans assemble define our need for emotional security. There are the invisible personal boundaries that define the guidelines a person creates to identify permissible ways for others to behave towards them. We construct emotional “walls” for those we are uneasy with and tear them down to reveal a vulnerable self for those we are close to. Additionally, there are the physical boundaries that support one’s need for psychological contentment. Our most intimate acts are performed behind the safety of wall structures, keeping us unexposed and safe from embarrassment.
For her first solo exhibition at Galleri Urbane, titled “Personal Boundaries,”Samantha McCurdy finds interest in the instances where these physical boundaries are worn thin to reveal the heightened mental power that one can forge. A frightened
child, for instance, can protect themselves from imaginary intruders with the help of only a bedsheet. With a background in fashion and styling, McCurdy has developed a keen awareness to the way in which certain articles of clothing provide a similar
duality, allowing one to reveal their body while simultaneously keeping it protected and unavailable to others.
The shaped paintings in the exhibition reference the material qualities of those very articles of clothing. Substituting traditional canvas for thin, stretchable spandex, the works call to mind form-fitting attributes of yoga pants or a swimsuit. Hidden behind the painted stretched fabric, each painting conceals spherical objects that bulge beyond the confines of the rectangular frame. Painted in vivid tones of orange and pink, or a nude that more directly alludes to a human figure, viewers are enticed to imagine what remains concealed. Tightly arranged, each work’s protrusions extend to its neighbor and seemingly reach for physical contact but ultimately never overstep that boundary. Each painting creates moments of tension through its invitation to imagine what lies hidden underneath the delicate surface and through its suggestive physical orientation, all the while maintaining its own unwavering agency.
In addition to the painting-based installation at Galleri Urbane, the artist has developed a performance to occur during the opening reception. With the contribution of composer Ryan Lynch (pwrTALK, badGal), McCurdy extends the experience of thin boundaries into physical action. Just as the surrounding paintings do, the performance will demonstrate what can be safely concealed behind the thinnest of barriers, both inviting and rejecting the audience’s desire.
A public opening reception for “Personal Boundaries” will take place at Galleri Urbane Dallas on Saturday, April 7th, 2018, from 6:30-8:30 pm, and a conversation with the artist will take place beforehand at 6pm. The 15-minute performance will occur promptly at 7:30 pm.
Living and working in Los Angeles, Samantha McCurdy is a native of Philadelphia and graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her work has been included in gallery exhibitions in Philadelphia, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City and she recently completed a site-specific installation at The Standard, Hollywood hotel. McCurdy has previously exhibited with Galleri Urbane at the Dallas Art Fair. In addition to her own practice, Samantha also runs an art space and “intellectual pavilion” called That That, which relocated with her move from Dallas to Los Angeles.