Catherine Kurtz was born in Cambridge, in 1969, but was brought up and has lived in London ever since. She attended St. Paul’s Girls’ School, and then Wimbledon School of Art, where she completed an art foundation. Following this, Kurtz took a degree in Fine Art (with an emphasis on painting) at Chelsea School of Art, where she was taught by Lucy Jones, Clyde Hopkins, Tony Fry, and David Hepher, amongst others. She also had some illustrious contemporaries: Chris Ofili and Neil Tate in her own year, and Gavin Turk in the year above.
Upon graduating, Kurtz was made artist-in-residence at the Royal Ballet School. In addition to her career as an artist, Kurtz is a silversmith, and has worked intermittently at the V&A, assisting with loans. She currently lives in London with her husband and two children. Kurtz has been exhibiting with the Redfern since the early 1990s.
Kurtz’s work often deals with the treatment and portrayal of women in popular culture, examining and depicting ‘female’ objects with a wry sense of humour. She has produced a series of paintings of women’s underwear, one of women’s shoes, and another of food, all portrayed simply against a cream or yellow background, each given a title that pokes fun at the way that they are usually seen. Kurtz paints, draws, and has recently produced her first prints. She also paints small, witty pieces that depict simple objects in exacting detail, still lifes that are very conscious, in their isolated portrayal, of the density of expectations and arguments that surround them—whether these are sexual, gendered, or about pure gluttony.