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ERIC Number: EJ935020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
A Curious Reality: Exploring the Paintings of Philip C. Curtis
Stephens, Pamela; Walkup, Nancy
Art Education, v64 n2 p25-32 Mar 2011
Many of the paintings of 20th-century American artist Philip C. Curtis defy clear classification. Curtis's artworks often show dreamlike and fantastical qualities and are therefore frequently pigeonholed as Surrealistic. While this classification is not completely erroneous, it fails to acknowledge some subtle differences between Curtis's artwork and that of mainstream Surrealist artists such as Andre Breton, Salvador Dali, or Max Ernst. Complicating matters more, Curtis himself freely acknowledged his association with the Surrealist style; however, he was also quick to clarify that his version was less on the "brutal side" and contained a "note of tenderness". Perhaps the most subtle difference between Curtis's work and that of his Surrealist counterparts is that the content of Curtis's paintings seems logically improbable while the content of Surrealism seems logically impossible. This restrained departure from Surrealistic tenets places Curtis's artwork in the genre known as Magical Realism, an illusory art form that is anchored in everyday reality, but with overtones of fantasy or wonder. In this Instructional Resource the authors examine the curious reality in selected paintings by Philip Curtis and present educational activities for both upper elementary (5th-6th grades) and middle to high school students (7th-12th grades). (Contains 5 endnotes.)
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Intermediate Grades; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A