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Nathaniel Mary Quinn

American  •  b. 1977

Biography

Having grown up as the youngest of five boys on the South Side of Chicago, artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn creates work that centers on family and youth. In his paintings and drawings of collaged figures, Quinn slices visual elements sourced from advertisements, Google images and his own photo albums: he takes on art historical themes and imbues them with deeply intimate and personal emotion.

Quinn was enamored with drawing from a young age. His brother Charles first noticed his talent and urged his mother to pay attention to it. In spite of his meteoric ascent as an artist, Quinn lost his mother while he was a student and, upon returning home to Chicago, discovered his family apartment had been deserted by his father and four brothers. As a result of loss and abandonment, the artist has said, “Grief was the constant background noise to whatever success I achieved.”

Insights

  • Quinn catapulted to fame on the occasion of his breakout show Past/Present at Pace Gallery, London, in September 2014.

  • The artist’s work oozes a prodigiously explosive aesthetic that writer and artist Adam Lehrer has described as ‘discord in perfect harmony’ (Forbes, October 2017).

  • His work is included in permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • Phillips introduced Nathaniel Mary Quinn to auction during our 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, London, October 2019. His work Over Yonder, 2015, sold for £212,500 against a pre-auction estimate of £40,000 - 60,000.

“Pain feels the same way to everybody. It’s what binds us all together. And I’m interested in exploring that.”

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