Curtis Benzle’s signature artworks are translucent, porcelain sculptural vessels and architectural lighting. They are represented in major museums and collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art/NYC, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Seto(Japan) Cultural Center, Taipei(Taiwan) County Yingge Ceramics Museum and the White House Collection.
Curtis has received Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Curtis Benzle is a Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Dimensional Studies at the Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH). He is currently a full-time studio artist and a former Director of the Monte Sano Art Festival in Huntsville, AL.
Curtis is a former Arts Huntsville board member and on the board of the Alabama Craft Council and CERF+(Crafts Emergency Relief Fund)—a national organization meeting the needs of artists confronting traumatic events. He is a former Trustee of the American Craft Council and Director of Ohio Designer Craftsmen.
My work is created using colored, vitreous, translucent porcelain. Color is incorporated directly into the porcelain, enabling me to use the material for both two and three-dimensional expression. This material/technique allows for greater immediacy and a significant integration between form and surface. An additional, and, essential material characteristic—translucency—is also a core aesthetic issue. Light is incorporated directly into the work through the translucent character of the porcelain. Colors change, blend and oppose based on the visual response of each piece to its luminous environment. When the light source is internal—as with my recent luminous sculpture— the work not only responds to the environment, but also defines it by controlling interior light and shadow. These interactions are planned and essential to a full understanding and appreciation of the aesthetic content of the objects.
Much of the imagery is constructed from repeat patterning. This fascination with creating complexity out of essential simplicity is at the core of all my work including my luminous sculptures. The luminous pieces derive intricately complex surfaces from the repeated presentation of essentially simple forms—leaves, petals, insects and reptiles. The complexity is heightened through the incorporation of light—drawing the viewer deeper into the surface through the actual presence of light and shadow. While the format in this new work is a departure, the essential aesthetic issues—light, color and pattern—remain.