Christopher Kurtz’s pieces are born, first and foremost, from a sculptural motivation invested in the specificity of objecthood; he comments that, ‘for me, making sculpture is not a conceptual or immaterial practice, it’s physical. I settled on wood as my medium because it’s structural, but also malleable and alive.’ The artist expertly sculpts his material using a carefully chosen palette of tools; often beginning without a predetermined blueprint for the final piece, Christopher works intuitively to create poignant and poetic forms that respond to a personal narrative or reflection and which, in turn, elicit a powerful emotional response from the viewer.
Inspiration for Christopher’s Skipping Stone series, specially created for the gallery, comes from his treasured time skipping stones with his daughter on the Hudson River: ‘It's a way we end each day together. We love searching for the perfect river stone; the shapes are so beautiful to hold - sometimes we can't bear to toss the good ones into the river, and we end up putting them in our pockets, bringing them home and stacking them up’. He uses locally sourced wood such as black American walnut, ash, cherry and white oak and sensitively hand carves each piece into smooth elliptical pebble shapes, expressively balanced to form the structure of the work.
Christopher has gained international attention for his sculpture and studio furniture, which is included in significant private collections. The artist was shortlisted for the Loewe Craft Prize 2018 with a signature wooden sculptural work. He received the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2005, and in 2007 he received a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Award (Lily Auchincloss fellow). He has exhibited as part of Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design at the Museum of Arts and Design, USA.
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