Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5213 USA
Curtis A. Rhodes’ (b. 1939) career as an artist extends over four decades and multiple mediums, including painting, printmaking, and lithography. Though his focus and style has evolved over time, Rhodes’ works retain a singular character. Modernist in their division of space, classical in their handling of the medium, and primal in their subject, Rhodes’ paintings are powerful in their paradoxes.
Rhodes draws his forms from ancient peoples and their arts, and travels widely to pursue his interests in Mayan and Incan cultures. These influences lend his work power and spiritual potency, yet Rhodes’ paintings still maintain the formal distance and aesthetic control of abstraction. His paint-handling ranges widely, from expressive passages to finely articulated forms that benefit from Rhodes’ instruction in classical techniques. The result is in an intriguing combination of old and new. The juxtaposition of his gestural marks with the painterly dimensionality of his forms, the ancient motifs set within the formal concerns of Modernism–the end result is work that mines and respects the past but refuses to be defined by it.
Curtis Rhodes, Moche no.1, 2007. Mixed media on paper.