A Dedication to Line-making / by Jeannine Cook

There is a very talented and dedicated artist whose work is currently on display at the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia - Curtis Bartone. His ability to make lines sing and tell dense, thoughtful stories is remarkable.

I first met Curtis when we both were part of the 2006 Luster of Silversilverpoint exhibition at the Telfair Museum, and we later coincided with the second Luster of Silver exhibition at the Evansville Museum of Arts, Evansville, IN in 2009. When I first saw Curtis' fine lines in his silverpoint drawings, I was impressed and intrigued, for he uses his skills to make thought-provoking juxtapositions of human activity and nature.

Curtis Bartone;  Forbidden , 2009; Lithograph on Arches 88; 22 x 28 inches; Courtesy of the Artist

Curtis Bartone; Forbidden, 2009; Lithograph on Arches 88; 22 x 28 inches; Courtesy of the Artist

In his current large exhibition at the Telfair, Domain: Drawings, Etchings and Lithographs, which runs from February 4th to June 26th, 2011, Curtis Bartone pulls one into realms that challenge one's assumptions about life on our planet, while leaving the viewer marvelling at his skills in etching and lithography, as well as in creating huge graphite or charcoal drawings and luminous silverpoints. Every work rewards careful study, like the print shown here, entitled Forbidden. In each drawing or print, dense lines build up compositions of flora and fauna against backdrops that jar, challenge and provoke our concepts of how we humans coexist with nature.

Domain is an exhibition that warrants repeated visits. The printer's skill and the draughtsman's skill, allied to an intense, informed series of disturbingly beautiful yet troubling messages, are such that you can't absorb everything all at one visit. Go and celebrate a master "line-maker" and draughtsman. Bravo, Curtis!