June 17th – October 29th
Hauser & Wirth
Diseminado Illa del Rei, S/N, 07700, Balearic Islands, Spain
This summer, Los Angeles-based artist Christina Quarles will unveil new paintings and works on paper across the 18th-century walls of Hauser & Wirth Menorca—her first exhibition in Spain following the presentation of her work in last year’s celebrated exhibition ‘The Milk of Dreams’ at the Venice Biennale and coinciding with a major exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Quarles’ critically acclaimed canvases and drawings typically display fragmented, polymorphous bodies embedded in rich, textural patterns, a singular approach to figuration unique to the artist’s visual rhetoric. Alongside the exhibition, Quarles will develop a dedicated Education Lab, complemented by events and learning activities throughout the duration of the show.
In her initial approach to the canvas, Quarles begins by making marks that evolve into line drawings of human forms and body parts. She then photographs the work and uses Adobe Illustrator to draw the backgrounds and structures that ultimately surround the figures. In a reversal of the conventional layering of a composition, Quarles’s figures precede and even dictate the environment that they come to inhabit. Quarles’s fascination with the subject of bodily experience and identity is illustrated by the ambiguous figures that populate her practice. Tangled arms and legs emerge in her paintings, while perspectival planes bisect bodies, simultaneously grounding and dislocating them in space. The intersection of Quarles’ figures and planes analogize the imagined and prescribed boundaries of identity. ‘Fixed categories of identity can be used to marginalize but, paradoxically, can be used by the marginalized to gain visibility and political power,’ Quarles has said, ‘this paradox is the central focus of my practice.’