Gagosian Gallery is known for making a splash with their big September shows, and their forthcoming solo show from Nathaniel Mary Quinn — his first with the gallery — is no exception. Hollow and Cut, new paintings and works on paper by this Chicago-born, now New York-based artist (who at just over 40 is already a widely recognized, institutionally collected talent), promise some of Quinn’s most ambitious, complex works to date.
While evoking collages for their disjointed, piecemeal physiognomy, Quinn’s oil paint, charcoal, and gold-leaf not-portraits impart deep new aspects to strategies of visual hybridity. For starters, they are not really portraits, not in the conventional sense. Each image is a fractured assembly of pieces from elsewhere, pictures from magazines for example, that are not simply appropriated, but painstakingly redrawn by Quinn in a process likened to the surrealist blind-collaboration game of Exquisite Corpse but actually a bit more like Dr. Frankenstein.
These images in their forms represent the multiplicity of identity, memory, and the everything-all-at-once situation of the modern psyche’s roiling tumultuousness. But Quinn’s “enhanced performance drawings,” which will also be on view, speak to a certain kind of unification — the neurological. Being ambidextrous, Quinn makes quasi-abstract, gestural works on paper by using both hands — and thus both halves of his brain — simultaneously.
Gagosian Gallery, 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills; opening reception: Wed., Sept. 11, 6-8 p.m.; through Oct. 19; (310) 271-9400, gagosian.com.
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