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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Caitlin Hurd

Caitlin Hurd

Intrigued by the particulars of ‘the suburbs,’ Caitlin Hurd questions the expectations of the culture in which she grew up. Using a painting vocabulary rooted in modernist, figurative tradition, she explores what it means to be conditioned towards the idealized nuclear family and traditional work-life, and what happens when one deviates. Caitlin employs images of suburban landscapes, domesticity, unmoored, floating bodies and sleepwalkers to symbolically weigh the promises of happiness and predictability against the more complicated realities.

As a child, Caitlin's family was active in a church community. She would see images of angels flying, and hear stories of them being messengers of a supreme divine being. Through her exploration real people don’t always know how to fly. In these paintings, these floating humans symbolize the effort and struggle of being a good person. (Such as, smiling when you are not happy can trick yourself and others that you are.) By raising these bodies off the ground, it questions whether going through the motions and following the rules makes one an angel. In several recent paintings, Caitlin explores an alternative, rural path, as well. Here she imagines something new: a simple life with fewer societally-imposed expectations. On a self-sustaining farm, the animals provide food and the humans provide shelter…seemingly a more straightforward option. The artist, however, knows this may be exchanging one romanticized lifestyle for another.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1978, Caitlin grew up in the suburbs north of Boston. In 2000, received a BFA in furniture design from The Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She went on to work with school-age children in creating public murals for their communities. In 2006, graduated with an MFA in painting from The New York Academy of Art. Currently she lives and works in New York City.

Caitlin's work has been exhibited in group shows throughout New York and elsewhere including: "Summer Exhibition" curated by Eric Fischl, Anne Straus, and Matthew Flowers (June 2009), Will Cotton, Matthew Flowers, Nicola Hicks and David Salle (June, 2008) and Jenny Saville, Eric Fischl and Vincent Desiderio (June, 2007) all at The New York Academy of Art in Tribeca, NY; "Separate Vissions" Sarah Bain Gallery, Anaheim, CA (February 2008); FigureWorks in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (March 2008); "Locus" in DUMBO (Apr.2008) "We are L.I.C." curated by Yigal Ozeri, Dean Project Gallery in L.I.C. NY (Jan. 2008); "The Telephone Project" in Chicago, IL (Sept. 2007); "Place as Object Figure and Landscape" curated by April Gornik at Janes Gallery at the Eden Rock Hotel in St. Barts, FWI. (Dec. 2006); Take Home A Nude at Phillips Auction House in Chelsea, NY (Oct. 2005,06 and 08).

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