Julie Curtiss, a young art star whose market profile has exploded in the last two years, has signed on with White Cube, the gallery announced today.
The London-based gallery will represent the painter in Europe and Asia, while New York gallerist Anton Kern, who has represented Curtiss since the fall of 2018, will continue to show her work in the U.S.
Curtiss’s witty take on the graphic surrealism of the Chicago Imagists turned her into one of the art world’s most buzzed about artists seemingly overnight. That trajectory is best encapsulated by the two-year, 10,000-percent increase in the price for her work from 2018 to 2019, peaking last November, when three of the artist’s paintings sold for a combined $1.1 million in less than 24 hours at Phillips New York.
“I’m very lucky and I’m aware of it, because there was nothing before, and I know how that is,” Curtiss told Artnet last year, speaking to her rapid rise to fame. “But I’m also a bit worried. I don’t want to be a flash in the pan. I want to have a sustainable career. I don’t want this to be this big inflation—and then a collapse.”
Born and raised in Paris, Curtiss studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and then at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden before attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There she came into contact with the work of the school’s famous Imagist alumni, including Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, and Christina Ramberg (whose work hers is most often compared to).
She moved to New York in the early 2010s and, after a brief stint working for Jeff Koons, spent several years painting in the Brooklyn studio of artist Brian Donnelly (a.k.a. KAWS).
Curtiss briefly showed with Various Small Fires in Los Angeles before moving to Kern, and has only mounted four major solo gallery shows to date. White Cube has not yet announced when its first solo presentation of the artist will take place.
When it happens, it won’t be her first turn with the gallery. Curtiss’s work was included in the popular 2017 exhibition “Dreamers Awake” at White Cube Bermondsey—the most prominent show on her resume at the time.
“[That] exhibition explored the enduring influence of Surrealism through the female gaze, which was perfectly encapsulated in her distinctive, uncanny works,” Susan May, White Cube’s global artistic director, told Artnet in a statement. “Since then we continued to follow the development of her practice, and with our colleagues at Anton Kern Gallery in New York, now look forward to helping provide the breathing space for her ideas to flourish.”
The next question will be which gallery snaps up representation of Curtiss in her native Paris.
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.