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 is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine and Reorient.

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