December 9, 2013

Ged Quinn, The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK

Ged Quinn 
The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK 
Through 5 January 2014 

The New Art Gallery Walsall presents a major solo exhibition of paintings by GED QUINN. The exhibition survey Quinn’s practice over the last four years, bringing together paintings from private collections in Europe and America as well as a brand new body of work created especially for this project. The exhibition will testify to the breadth of the artist’s practice and will include landscapes, portraits and still lifes, resplendent in references to history, myth and popular culture from across and through time. The subtle, teasing and at times, unnerving nature of the juxtapositions at play in Ged Quinn’s work, situate him as a leading contemporary painter.

Although Ged Quinn has shown extensively in Europe and America, this is his first solo exhibition in a public gallery in the UK since Tate St Ives in 2004 and Tate Liverpool in 2008 as part of the Liverpool Biennial. 

In Ged Quinn’s more recent works, the mysterious and intriguing scenarios that nestled within the grand landscapes reminiscent of artists like Claude Lorrain and Jacob Ruisdael have emerged to centre stage where references to European history, mythology and Modernist architecture jostle for attention alongside artistic and literary references and homages to filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkovsky.  In one of the new landscape paintings, traditional pictorial devices used to suggest depth or perspective are playfully challenged by the use of filmic text or explicit engagement with the flatness of the canvas.  Ged Quinn’s paintings provide an intellectual space for an interrogation and critique of modernism fuelled by the artist’s own unique perspective. 

Ged Quinn also produces much smaller works including intense portraits and still lifes that are equally as compelling.  Two brand new portraits currently being completed for the exhibition are inspired by the complex and troubled relationship between poet Paul Celan, a Holocaust survivor, and Martin Heidegger, one of the most influential 20th century philosophers.  Celan struggled to reconcile his admiration for the writings of Heidegger with his abhorrence of his Nazi past.  The two engaged in regular communication between 1951 and 1970. Typically, Quinn’s intriguing portraits of these figures are loaded with broader cultural references. 

A substantial publication accompanies the exhibition with texts by Michael Bracewell and Dr Brian Dillon as well as colour reproductions of all works exhibited.  The publication is co-published with Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and supported by Walsall Museums and Art Galleries Development Trust. 

GED QUINN was born in Liverpool in 1963.  He has studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford, the Slade School of Art in London, the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. He has exhibited widely and his work is represented in many collections.  Recent solo exhibitions include Bass Museum, Miami, Florida, USA (2012-13) and Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas (2012).  He has an upcoming group show, at Galerie Rudolfinium, Viktor Pivovarov and Ged Quinn, Rudolfinium, Prague, Czech Republic (2014). 

Other recent solo exhibitions include Stephen Friedman Gallery (2011) and Wilkinson Gallery (2010).  Recent and forthcoming selected group exhibitions include Looking at the View, Tate Britain (2013), The Future’s not what it used to be, Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall, UK (2013), Disaster/The End of Days, Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (2013), Beyond Reality, Rudolfinium, Prague, Czech Republic (2012), Everywhere and Nowhere, Reydan Weiss Collection, Oberstdorf, Germany (2012), Restore us and Regain, Glasgow School of Art (2010), Newspeak:British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London (2010) and Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia (2009) and Made Up, Liverpool Biennale, Tate Liverpool (2008).

The New Art Gallery Walsall

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