Curtis Frillmann










Upcoming Exhibitions

Muskegon Museum of Art

Upcycling! Creating More with Less
Feburary 3 Through April 3, 2011

Cooper Gallery

On March 25 and 26, 2011, the West Michigan Symphony will present, in partnership with Grand Valley State University, a multi -media symphonic experience titled Sustainability: A West Michigan Journey. The program will use music and locally produced videos and photos to explore West Michigan’s stewardship of its environmental, economic, and human resources; design with nature; and the natural beauty of Michigan’s water, wind, sun, and earth. In support of Sustainability: A West Michigan Journey, the Muskegon Museum of Art proudly presents Upcyling! Creating More with Less.

This exhibition will feature works from the permanent collection and West Michigan artists who use recycled materials to create new works of art. The term “upcycle” means to reuse an object of low value, such as discarded milk jugs, bottle caps, or scrap metal, to produce something that has a higher value, either materially or aesthetically.  Artists from the permanent collection represented in the exhibition include Joseph Stella, Geary Jones, and Sally Thielen. Additional works by area artists Wanda Gringhuis Anderson, Ken Foster, Curtis Frillman, David Ninham, Patti Opel, Nat Rosales, and David Warmenhoven will also be featured. Diverse in style and subject, all artworks incorporate found and reclaimed objects. 

Curtis Frillmann
Mistaking Autumn for Spring #2
Oil, acrylic, enamel and rust on recycled steel

  Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts

April 15–May 15, 2011

Art is formed through associations–relationships between formal elements, forms, content, objects and audiences. Similarly, UICA has flourished for over 30 years through its relationships with artists from around the world. This exhibition will feature the work of UICA's Visual Arts Commitee and over 25 invited artists. The Visual Arts Committee will select artists that have previously shown at UICA to join them for an encore appearance. In turn, each invited artist will choose another artist to participate as a means of encouraging new connections and collaboration.

Curtis Frillmann
This Is the Heartland
oil, acrylic, sand, metal and twigs on canvas

More Recent Press

Gen Art Chicago Collectors Circle Event:  
Curtis Frillmann's Exhibiton at 360See Gallery

      Talking to artists make us think about life.  Here's the artist’s commentary on his                     thought-provoking eco-art...

Tell us a little about the works in this show.
The works are paintings on recycled steel; they have an environmental message. They explore our connection to the environment and the convergence of the modern world with nature, because they’re on recycled steel but they are natural, rural scenes. I don’t expect that everyone would perceive that environmentalist message—people can just see landscape and that’s fine. That’s kind of how our world is.

When did you start on this body of work?
All the paintings in the show have been done this year.

This body of work is really about Chicago and the specific circumstances in which Chicago was born. There’s a definite clash between the urban environment and the farmland, to the west. The title of the show “Iron Pastorals” is taken from a book of poetry, published in 1947 by a Chicago poet. In the book he talks about all the struggles of the inner city. I like that phrase—iron pastoral—because it talks about the material, and the scene in the same phrase.

What inspires you in daily life?
Things can look differently than what they really are. You look at something from far away and it creates an abstract scene. Beyond that, thinking about my children and what their future is—I have a four-year-old and a nine-month-old--and to a large degree, the reason why I make art that speaks of the environment is out of my concern about what will be left for them when they’re my age. That’s one of my primary motivations—to impact the world and make a difference for them.

What would you like people to think about when they look at your work?
It would be very easy for me to make something that’s very in-your-face environmentalist and angry, and I purposely try to hold that back and make something that has to be thought about. I think it’s important to take these messages and try to make something beautiful versus making something offensive. What I’m interested in is the scene and what’s behind the scene, and the timelessness of that scene. So it can move back and forth in time in the viewer’s mind, but the actual piece is fixed.

And what was the last thing that made you think this way?

This time of year with the leaves falling...the color can just be overwhelming. Nature influences me a great deal. No matter where I begin or what kind of material I begin with, I always end up in nature.

Three things you can’t live without?
My family, space and self expression.


© 2011 Curtis Frillmann