Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by British artist Ged Quinn, the third show at the gallery for the Cornwall-based painter. The new body of work presents a monodrama and pairs large-scale romantic landscape paintings with smaller portraits and intimate pastoral scenes. Marking a significant development in the artist's practice, these wintry images are rendered in thinly applied layers of oil on linen and focus on the feelings of Quinn's protagonist, an isolated wanderer.
Quinn's new paintings are inspired by German lyric poet Wilhelm Müller, English Romantic poet William Wordsworth and Carl Jung's partially autobiographical book ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections' (1962). They also relate to a rare series of watercolour landscapes by Albrecht Dürer. In this body of work we follow the wanderer through a majestic and ethereal landscape, a snowy village and a coal burner's hut. While making footprints in the snow, he moves in a hypnotic daze and dreams of spring in winter. ‘Bloodstream Sub Tilia' is a monumental painting depicting the landscape around Nuremberg, Germany, dominated by a tall linden tree that stretches towards a night sky. Many myths surround linden trees in European folklore, one of which asserts that inhaling its pollen when sleeping underneath will result in sweet dreams. The idea of enchanted pollen permeates several works in the exhibition, be they drifting like snowflakes in ‘Thirty Feet Away' and ‘Powers Of Summer' or suggesting an aura around the head of a male figure in ‘Fireflies'.
Quinn is best known for densely populated paintings that transform art historical references into contemporary experience. This new body of work represents an important shift in the artist's practice and marks a departure from creating reproductions of paintings from art history. Here the artist offers his emotional response to an imagined landscape, where the larger paintings in the exhibition are rendered in fluid layers, while the smaller works are painted in a more controlled manner.
Quinn was born in 1963 in Liverpool, UK. He now lives and works in Cornwall. His work is currently included in ‘Living Ruins' at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, UK and was featured in ‘Comeback: Art-Historical Renaissances' at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany earlier this year.
Quinn has had solo exhibitions at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas and Tate St Ives, St Ives. Other notable solo and two-person exhibitions include: ‘Richard Patterson | Ged Quinn', Galleria Mucciaccia, Rome; ‘Ged Quinn', New Art Gallery Walsall, West Midlands; ‘Endless Renaissance', Bass Museum, Miami Beach and ‘The Heavenly Machine', Spike Island, Bristol.
Major group exhibitions include ‘Cake and Lemon Eaters: Viktor Pivovarov and Ged Quinn', Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague and The Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava, Czech Republic; ‘Looking at the View', Tate Britain, London; ‘The Witching Hour', Water Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham; ‘Lust for Life & Dance of Death', Kunsthalle Krems, Krems an der Donau, and ‘Newspeak: British Art Now', Saatchi Gallery, London and State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.
Quinn's works are held in the permanent collections of public institutions including Tate, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; British Museum, London; FLAG Art Foundation, New York; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Olbricht Collection, Essen and Tel Aviv Art Museum.