Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s First Show at Gagosian Is Full of Psychologically Intense Collage Portraits—See Them Here

If you can't make it to the West Coast, check out the show here.

Installation view of
Installation view of "Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Hollow and Cut" at Gagosian Beverly Hills. © Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Photo: Jeff McLane. Courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Hollow and Cut
at Gagosian Beverly Hills

What the Gallery Says“Quinn’s composite portraits probe the relationship between perception and memory. He rejects the notion of documentary portraiture; instead of depicting physical likeness, he illuminates subconscious aspects of the human psyche, coaxing forth manifestations of innate and repressed emotions… He begins with a vision—a vague flash of a face from his past—that he feels viscerally compelled to translate into reality. To do so, he collects images from fashion magazines, newspapers, advertising, and comics, reconceptualizing the snippets as purely aesthetic imagery before methodically redrawing and repainting each one.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Ahead of his first show since joining the all-powerful Gagosian empire, Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s 2019 work Sinking graces the cover of the new Gagosian Quarterly, and the magazine features an in-depth conversation with news anchor (and noted art collector) Anderson Cooper. The show looks gorgeous, with Quinn’s collage-style, hand-crafted compositions juxtaposed with his speedy “enhanced performance” drawings, in which he uses both hands to create on-the-spot portraits.

In the interview with Cooper, Quinn retells the story of his name, how he took on the middle name “Mary” as a nod to his late mother, and signs each of his works “Love Mom,” so that her memory is inscribed in each one. The rapidly rising market phenomenon also talks about the genesis of many of his works: after he meets his subjects on the street, he uses his portraits to allude to some aspect of their inner personality that might not come across in a simple snapshot or straight drawing. Instead, he uses gouache, oil stick, charcoal, pastels, gold leaf, and magazine images that make for layered, nuanced artworks.

What It Looks Like: 

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Jekyll and Hyde (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Jekyll and Hyde (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Installation view of "Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Hollow and Cut" at Gagosian Beverly Hills. © Nathaniel Mary Quinn Photo: Jeff McLane Courtesy Gagosian.

Installation view of “Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Hollow and Cut” at Gagosian Beverly Hills. © Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Photo: Jeff McLane. Courtesy Gagosian.Photo: Jeff McLane

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, <i>C'mo' and Walk with Me</i> (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, C’mo’ and Walk with Me (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, <i>Hiding in Plain Discomfort</i> (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Hiding in Plain Discomfort (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, <i>How Come Not Me</i> (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, How Come Not Me (2019). © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Rob McKeever, courtesy Gagosian.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn in his studio. Photo: Taylor Dafoe.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn in his studio. Photo: Taylor Dafoe.

Installation view of "Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Hollow and Cut" at Gagosian Beverly Hills. © Nathaniel Mary Quinn Photo: Jeff McLane Courtesy Gagosian.

Installation view of “Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Hollow and Cut” at Gagosian Beverly Hills. © Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Photo: Jeff McLane.


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