Nathaniel Mary Quinn Explains the Humanity That Informs His Art

Nathaniel Mary Quinn recently captivated audiences through a striking series of portraiture in “NOT FAR FROM HOME; STILL FAR AWAY,” held at the Gagosian‘s 980 Madison Avenue location.

To follow, Quinn spoke about the development of the exhibition with Amanda Hunt, director of public programs and creative practice at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The conversation probed how the artist draws on his own tragic life experiences to speak on the relationship between perception and memory.

In All the Lost Awards. All that was Lost (2021), a boy in a uniform is depicted in Quinn’s signature mashing. The work pays reference to his childhood, where his mother encouraged him to pursue art at Culver Academies in Indiana. To the joy of them both, Quinn was accepted into the institution’s art program during his teens, but was heartbroken to hear that his mother had tragically passed away while he was at school.

Upon returning home to Chicago the next month, all the furniture was gone. His brothers and dad had deserted him — Quinn was 15 at the time. Despite winning all the art awards at parents night soon after, he laments that in the end, he would truly win nothing. “That’s what that piece is about,” said the artist.

Narrated by writer and curator, Ekow Eshun, the video also features a musical performance by Raphael Saadiq. Watch Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s episode of Gagosian Premieres above.

Speaking on the Gagosian, Brice Marden is showcasing a new series of paintings in New York.
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