The YBA artist Marc Quinn, best known for his ‘Blood Head’ sculpture, ‘Self’ has parted company with his long-standing gallery White Cube. Quinn has been represented by the gallery from the beginning when it was a small space in Mayfair, in the early 1990s. A spokeswoman confirmed the departure on 11 February by stating; “We are not representing him anymore. We wish him every continued success with his future projects,” she added that the split had taken place “in the last couple of weeks”.
Quinn’s relationship with White Cube founder Jay Jopling dates back over a 20 year period. His first show at the Grob Gallery in Dering Street, saw sculptures of human body parts made out of bread. It was here that Charles Saatchi acquired the now famous Blood Head which is currently on view at the National Portrait Gallery. Quinn’s final White Cube show titled; ‘The Toxic Sublime.’ was an exploration of ‘natural phenomena and our distanced and complex relationship with the environment’. The massive scale canvasses on the walls were emersive and abstract, however on closer inspection they revealed tagging/graffiti and hidden messages reminding us that we are at odds with nature. The wall pieces were juxtiposed with oversized bronzes of sea shells. The show received mixed reviews.
Marc Quinn was born in 1964 in London, where he lives and works. He has exhibited widely for over twenty-five years. His practice is known for its sculptures, paintings and drawings which explore the relationship between art and science, the human body and the perception of beauty, among other things. Quinn came to prominence in 1991 with his sculpture Self (1991); AKA The Blood Head, a cast of the artist’s head made from eight pints of his own frozen blood. Created in 1991 it featured in Saatchi’s exhibition called ‘Sensation’ at the Royal Academy. Other critically acclaimed works include Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), a fifteen-ton marble statue of the heavily pregnant and disabled Alison Lapper, exhibited on the fourth plinth at London’s Trafalgar Square. A colossal replica of Alison Lapper Pregnant was commissioned for the 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony.
Photo: P C Robinson © artlyst 2016