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The Benefit
January 17, 2019

The Nature of Truth (and the Truth of Nature) in Joan Wadleigh Curran’s Endurance

About the Author
Lily Horner

See the exhibition here

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InLiquid member artist Joan Wadleigh Curran has been creating art since attending Skidmore College and Yale University. Her art has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Art Matters, and Artgrind, to name only a few publications. Showing her work in the Wagner Free Institute of Science, Marian Locks Gallery, Savery Gallery, and the Woodmere Art Museum, Wadleigh Curran has been a big influence in the Philadelphia art community.
Joan Wadleigh Curran’s art is a reflection of human’s impact on nature. She takes the overlooked aspects of the world around us and focuses in on them to find “hidden truths locked within physical form.”
Her piece in InLiquid’s 2019 Benefit Auction, Endurance, is the perfect example of this quest to air out these truths. Yes, it is a dark piece (literally, she only uses black aquatint and drypoint etching instead of colorful paints), Wadleigh Curran doesn’t try to idealize the nature she depicts. But within this blackness is a tree that grows beautiful flowers. To see this we must look beyond the center of the painting, though. In the middle is an abstraction that could be a knot in the tree, could be unsightly growth, or could be a fungus; any way you look at it, its complexity and detail are hypnotizing and mystifying. The focal growth in the piece, coupled with the flowers and leaves dangling into view, represent a duality in nature between the delicate and the rough.
In addition to exploring natural truths in her art, Wadleigh Curran likes to “examine the intersection of nature and the man-made world.” In Endurance this intersection splits this tree in half. The tree’s abstraction can be a human presence, that roughness that can be a detriment to nature. The tree, which was “once nurtured, [is] coupled with the discarded and the frayed as indicators of our values.” It, however, endures and perseveres through our knot.
Wadleigh Curran’s piece is up for auction at our 2019 Benefit and would be a great way to celebrate your collection at our VIP Night on February 1st.
Curran will also be showing at the InLiquid Gallery in the spring, so you can come and marvel at her many other fabulous works.

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