In The Studio: Ged Quinn, artist
'I want to introduce things to the gallery experience that are not quite right...'
Saturday 12 January 2013
When Liverpudlian Ged Quinn (born in 1963) was a teenager, he and his then girlfriend went on a holiday together. "In those days you went to the road and stuck out your thumb and waited for a lift." The lorry took them straight down the M5 to the A30 and they ended up in Cornwall.
After completing his studies in the Ruskin School, Oxford; the Slade, London; the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf; and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Quinn briefly returned to London, but soon decamped to Cornwall. His current studio outside Penzance stands slightly removed from the stone farmhouse where he lives with his partner and their four children.
Things had changed in the art scene during Quinn's student days. Damien Hirst's warehouse show had irrevocably changed the gallery scene, but Quinn saw the dangers. "I needed to get out and discover what I wanted to do rather than tap into that consciousness that was flying around," he says.
Cornwall in those days was a quiet scene. Quinn remembers that it was possible to get cheap studios, so "it was easier to make art, but there would not be anywhere to show it; so I ended up painting in my sitting room." Susan Daniel-McElroy, then the director of Tate St Ives, offered him a six-month residency at Tate St Ives and published a small catalogue. He was offered a London group show and soon had signed with a London gallery.
Quinn's paintings are now owned by international collectors, but this studio seems a long way from the jostling aisles of the Basel Art Fair or Frieze. At first glance, the half-finished paintings surrounding us might come from a different century – and yet they are inhabited by incongruously modern and sinister objects. "'People were trying to locate modernism meaning in some kind of context. I thought, 'wouldn't it be interesting to try and locate it into the spaces of artists who had died 300 or 400 years ago?'
"It is why the canvas that I am looking at appears to be a mash-up of Poussin and Claude Lorrain, with Star Wars thrown in. All I am using from old paintings is the intellectual space that the artists created for them. In a sense I imagine that I am standing there again and how might it have changed."
Charming as he is, Quinn confesses that he is attempting to disquiet that most gratifying experience of museum-going. People are "going there for pleasure, so really I want to use that language and then introduce things that are not quite right."
The Endless Renaissance, Bass Museum of Art, Miami (bassmuseum.org) to 17 March
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
- 2 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Britain's Got Talent producers apologise for not making Matisse dog double stunt 'clearer'
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Jules and Matisse used secret dog double for winning tightrope act
Netflix is testing out adverts
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9: 'The Dance of Dragons' sees Jon Snow return to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Britain's Got Talent final 2015: 90 viewers complain to Ofcom about Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden's 'revealing' dresses
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers