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IntroductionAbout the Work
What if plants were no longer content to attract only bees and insects, but started to set their sights on more ambitious targets: people? What if our attention were fundamental to their continued existence? This thought is the inspiration behind Marc Quinn’s supremely colourful, almost unreal flower arrangements that would be hard to top in terms of sheer opulence. And these bright, garish images do, in fact, have an irresistible allure, with overstimulation serving as their aesthetic principle.
The portrayal of flowers through diverse artistic mediums is an ongoing theme in Quinn’s work. In 2013, his installation “The Rush of Nature” – a giant orchid cast in bronze – attracted widespread attention at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show in London.
Human intervention in nature plays a central role in Quinn’s art – in this case, the subjects of his pieces are frozen in silicone and often assembled using elements from different types of plants, placing his work right at the intersection between art and science.
About the Artist
Marc Quinn belongs to the Young British Artists movement, alongside big names such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, and Jake and Dinos Chapman, who conquered the art world in the 1990s with their thrilling and at times provocative work. His sculpture “Self”, a replica of the artist’s head made of his own frozen blood, featured in the legendary Sensation exhibition that caused international controversy in 1997. Curated by notorious collector Charles Saatchi for London’s Royal Academy of Arts, the show generated a media storm and brought its young artists lasting recognition.
Like many of his contemporaries in the Young British Artists, Quinn creates figurative works. A particular fascination for the vulnerability and mortality of the human body is a clear theme running through his diverse oeuvre. He combines art with the knowledge and technical possibilities of science to address life’s existential questions.
Many of Quinn’s sculptures have been displayed in public spaces. “Alison Lapper Pregnant”, for example, was installed in Trafalgar Square and later replicated for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games. Quinn was the first artist to be represented by Jay Jopling, the legendary art dealer and founder of the White Cube Gallery. Quinn’s work can be found in the world’s most important art collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and Tate Britain. In 2003, Quinn took part in the Venice Biennale.
Quinn often works with organic materials, which he transforms into sculptures and subsequently preserves through a freezing process. The images in this series are based on flower arrangements that the artist froze in silicone. The arrangements were captured in hyper-realistic paintings that served as the templates for his prints.
By exaggerating and inverting the colours, Quinn achieves a certain artificiality – expressing the human manipulation of nature artistically. At the same time, he uses this technique to deconstruct the concept of the living model – the flowers, which actually die during the freezing process, remain preserved in a fresh, lively state.
1964 Born in London, UK Studied History and Art History at Robinson College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK Worked as an assistant to sculptor Barry Flanagan 2012 A replica of Quinn’s famous sculpture “Alison Lapper Pregnant” was displayed on the main stage at the Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympics Lives and works in London, UKCollections
MoMA, New York City, USA Centre Pompidou, Paris, France Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands Tate Britain, London, UKExhibitions
2014 Marc Quinn, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga, Spain 2013 Marc Quinn – Portraits of Landscapes, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, USA 2012 Brave New World, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France 2011 Marc Quinn – At the Far Edges of the Universe, Fabrik Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, China 2010 Marc Quinn – Allanah, Buck, Catman, Chelsea, Michael, Pamela and Thomas, White Cube, London, UK 2009 Marc Quinn, Mary Boone Gallery, New York City, USA 2009 Carbon Cycles, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany 2009 Selfs, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland 2008 Marc Quinn: Evolution, White Cube, London, UK 2007 Marc Quinn, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada 2006 Marc Quinn, Galerie Hopkins, Paris, France 2006 Marc Quinn – Recent Sculptures, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands 2005 Marc Quinn – Chemical Life Support, White Cube, London, UK 2004 Marc Quinn: Flesh, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 2004 Marc Quinn, Mary Boone Gallery, New York City, USA 2003 Marc Quinn: The Overwhelming World of Desire, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy 2002 Marc Quinn, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK 2002 Marc Quinn, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK 1999 Marc Quinn, Kunstverein Hannover, Hanover, Germany 1995 Art Now: Marc Quinn – Emotional Detox, Tate Britain, London, UK
2015 A Secret Affair, FLAG Art Foundation, New York City, USA 2014 Post Pop: East Meets West, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK 2014 Bad Thoughts – Collection Martijn and Jeannette Sanders, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2013 Flowers and Mushrooms, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria 2013 Body Pressure, Skulptur seit den 1960er Jahren, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany 2012 Cool Britannia, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, South Korea 2011 Mémoires du Future, La Collection Olbricht, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France 2010 Ein Hauch von Eden, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany 2010 Cream, Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland 2009 Die Kunst ist Super! Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany 2008 Statuephilia, British Museum, London, UK 2007 Skin of/in Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Art, Osaka Japan 2007 ART Futures, Bloomberg Space, London, UK 2006 Damien Hirst & His Contemporaries, Andipa Gallery, London, UK 2006 Figures in the Field, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA 2005 Raised Awareness, Tate Modern, London, UK 2004 Art of the Garden, Tate Britain, London, UK 2003 La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy 2003 Works from the Collection, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK 2002 The Body Present: Effigies, Decoys, and Other Equivalents, Museum pf Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA 2001 Almost Warm & Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art, MoMA PS1, New York City, USA 2001 Give and Take, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK 2000 Out There – An Exhibition of Contemporary British Art, White Cube, London, UK 1999 Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, USA 1997 Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK