First Curtain was created as part of Douglas Kirton’s Object series, the series features beds, curtains, microphones, staircases, torches and harps among other objects. Kirton has said that finding these objects already flattened through photographic reproduction in the Sears catalogue inspired him to use them to explore materials and planar composition (Kirton delivers beautiful beds, Globe and Mail, Saturday, September 13, 1980, John Bentley Mays). This drawing intensifies figure and ground, presence and absence through a process of highly worked coverage and erasure. The effect of visual harmony and vibrating isolated figure is accomplished by Kirton’s covering of the surface with charcoal, erasing the background, and then applying and then scraping off white oil pastel to make the negative space around the figure. There is a shimmering quality to the play of planes and volumes resulting from the combination of media. Household objects are given a ghostly quality and the images allow a curious critical distance. Viewers might be drawn to consider emotional connections to common objects, or disappointments of consumption through the sense of loss or perhaps menace conveyed.Taking inspiration from Brice Marden’s graphite drawings, these works are sometimes seen in context of so-called New Image painters like Leon Golub, Francisco Clemente, Susan Rothenberg and Lois Lane.