Nathaniel Mary Quinn Confronts Racial Bias in New Composite Portraits

Gagosian’s London outpost is currently presenting new paintings and works on paper by Chicago-born artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn. The exhibition marks the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery in London and will spotlight additional works by Quinn on the gallery’s website to coincide with this year’s virtual installment of Frieze London that is running until October 16.

Quinn creates composite faces that evoke the emotion-charged visuals of Lucian Freud while also referencing cubist elements from the works of Pablo Picasso. And while his creations appear to look like collages, they’re actually made using gouache, charcoal, and pastel from visuals he finds online or in vintage fashion magazines. The artist is currently presenting new large-scale portraits that are inspired from a specific memory or encounter.

“Some portraits, such as Lunch (2020), are personal and introspective, evoking childhood nostalgia through soft, inviting facial features. Other paintings offer harrowing social critique, confronting the racial bias of threatening criminality that is so often thrust upon Black men,” said the gallery in a statement.

One of the highlights in the in-person show is Quinn’s Three Months In (2020), his largest work on paper to date. The artist is gearing up to debut a selection of charcoal-on-paper “enhanced performance drawings” as part of the virtual Frieze London edition.

View select works in the slideshow above and then visit Gagosian’s website for more information. Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s exhibition is on view at the address below until November 21.

Elsewhere in art, a social media advocacy group called @ChangeTheMuseum on Instagram is urging a boycott of all U.S. museums in October.

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