Christina Quarles - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Phillips

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  • “I’m interested in depicting an experience of living in a body rather than looking at a body.”
    —Christina Quarles

    Christina Quarles created Laid Up, 2020, a ten-color silkscreen print in an edition of 35, to accompany the exhibition Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, February 6 – August 30, 2020.


    Christina Quarles' edition for Whitechapel Gallery is closely related to her recent paintings, which feature entwined nude figures within flat abstracted environments. She draws on her background as a graphic designer to develop her compositions and creates some elements with computer software such as Adobe Illustrator. Quarles explores female, black and queer identity through the active agency of these contorted bodies pressing against the confines of the canvas and reflecting her experience of feeling fragmented in her own body.


    Laid Up depicts bodies enmeshed in a close embrace of limbs, torsos and heads against a patterned background. The composition hems the figures in to a complicated entanglement. The lines drawn between one body and another are ambiguous and the figures fold and overlap. Made during Spring 2020, the title of the print, Laid Up could also be seen as a nod to the monotony of pandemic life in lockdown. Like her paintings, this silkscreen print is made from a process of intricate layering, with mat and gloss inks combining to create a seductive surface. Quarles describes this layering process as “looking for patterns that have… a sort of visual punning and multiple locations, like a field of flowers that’s a pattern on a bedspread or a field of flowers in nature.” – White Chapel Gallery

    • Artist Biography

      Christina Quarles

      As a queer woman born to a black father and a white mother, Christina Quarles has developed a worldview defined by multiplicity. Often misrepresented as a white woman in life, Quarles creates work that confronts ideas of race, gender, and queerness. The highly expressive human forms of Quarles’s paintings hover between figuration and abstraction, paradoxically occupying both spaces at once. By incorporating the contradictions of identity into her painting, Quarles has developed an art form defined by energized formal inventiveness and semi-pictorial abstraction that has been likened to the early work of Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning, breathing new life into the historical legacies of their work.  

      Quarles was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1985 and was raised in Los Angeles, California. She completed her BA at Hampshire College in 2007 and earned her MFA at Yale University in 2016. Today, Quarles lives and works in Los Angeles with her wife.  

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Laid Up

Screenprint in colors, on Somerset paper, the full sheet.
S. 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
Signed and numbered 32/35 in pencil on the reverse, published by Whitechapel Gallery, London, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$3,000 - 5,000 

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 16 - 17 April