Although Quinn has shown extensively in Europe and America, this will be 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 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. Quinn's paintings provide an intellectual space for an interrogation and critique of modernism fuelled by the artist's own unique perspective.
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.
The artist will give an informal tour of his exhibition on Saturday 30 November at 2pm.
To book a free place, please call 01922 654400.
For digital images and further information, please contact Chris Wilkinson on 01922 654416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary Tagg at Stephen Friedman Gallery on 020 7494 1434 or email@example.com
Notes: The artist will be available for interviews on 4, 5 or 7 October. Please make arrangements with Chris Wilkinson (contact details provided above).
Opening times: The New Art Gallery Walsall is open from 10-5 on Tuesdays to Saturdays and Sundays 12noon - 4pm.
They are closed to the public on Mondays and Bank Holidays.
Ged Quinn at New Art Gallery Walsall