Sally Curcio

Sally Curcio studied at Williams College and the American College in London, England, graduating with a BFA in painting at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Since then she has shown her work extensively throughout the U.S and in Cameroon, W. Africa. Recently she received the Blanche E. Colman grant award, and Martha Wilson, of Franklin Furnace Inc., selected her work for the Brooklyn A.I.R. Gallery’s “At Her Age” competition exhibition. Curcio uses materials such as pins, beads, false eyelashes, tennis balls, shuttlecocks, and make-up pads to create miniature worlds enclosed under acrylic glass bubbles. During this time of economic, political and environmental uncertainty this work offers a dream of a safe protected environment. The bubble sculptures, inspired by snow globes, are contained worlds that not only stimulate fantasy, but also a kind of nostalgia for mythical or fairytale worlds of childhood. In a moment in history when we seem to be on the cusp of abandoning one kind of world and groping to create another, Curcio’s work counsels openness to what may be possible.


Sally Curcio’s body of work “Palimpsest” combines historical images with Op art. The title, “Palimpsest” refers to a manuscript on which an earlier text has been effaced and the vellum or parchment reused for another text. When paper was rare in medieval times, it was re-used in such a manner, but the former text often was still discernable.

Curcio takes this concept of inter-textuality and obscuration and plays with figure-ground relationships in a topsy-turvy manner. She appropriates historical figures and presents them as cultural icons in the manner of Andy Warhol. These images are then obscured with shapes and figures reminiscent of the work of John Baldessari and Damien Hirst.

As a palimpsest, the work melds the historical and contemporary. It serves to revive our memory and honors these important figures.

Museum acquisitions:

Fitchburg Art Museum: – Candyland

Smith College Museum of Art: – Happy Valley (Winter) – Happy Valley (Fall)