Marc Quinn @ White Cube


I am not going to even bother talking about the paintings inside Marc Quinn’s current Toxic Sublime exhibition at White Cube. They are completely insignificant and forgettable compared to his sculptures, and they alone would have sufficed.

I am a cancerian and perhaps that is why I am drawn to shells. Quinn’s sculptures inside the Bermondsey White Cube come mostly in the form of metallic silver shells, that glisten from every angle. They are smooth on some sides and rough on the other, begging the viewer to reach out and touch them. If I could afford to have one in my sitting room I would.

The wall art however looks like someone has found some almost empty cans of spray paint and attempted to draw something on pieces of battered scrap metal – in short, it looks like bad graffiti. I have read somewhere that the show is supposed to be a comment on how the city has become disconnected from nature. Perhaps the paintings are supposed to neglect this, but all in all I think the show would have been much more powerful had Quinn left them out.

Yes the sculpture is sublime, but in my opinion the painting is the kind of toxic substance you ought to stay away from.

Marc Quinn – Toxic Sublime is on display at White Cube until 13 September

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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