Lauren Quin - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "There’s just so much detail that fizzles out when you’re seeing a photo of [the painting]. I wanted to make something that couldn’t really be encapsulated by an image."
    —Lauren Quin

    Teeming with chromatic and compositional force, Lauren Quin’s Second Palm Third Stem, 2020, reverbs before the viewer’s eyes. The work presents bold tubular forms overlaid with complex line drawings in a hyper-saturated palette of pinks, oranges, and mint-green hues. Since her first solo shows last summer at Loyal Gallery, Stockholm and Friends Indeed, San Francisco at the age of 28, Quin’s works have been acquired by institutions such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the X Museum, Beijing, testifying to her remarkably rapid ascension on the international art scene.


    Fernand Léger, The Stove (Le poêle), 1918. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Image: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

    "I looked at Léger’s paintings as antithetical to mine in the way that they were organized, and I wanted to make something with that organizational tool."
    —Lauren Quin

    Following her graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, Quin developed her striking visual lexicon during her 2017 residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and her MFA at the Yale School of Art, which she earned 2019. “I had never experienced pitch black as I did walking at night through the deep woods of Maine during my residency there. Your sense of depth is completely removed,” she recalled. “I kept feeling like things were flying at me and I was being pushed through a tube.”i  Aiming to materialize this sensation in her compositions, Quin eventually found her device in the volumetric tube during her MFA, after encountering the work of Fernand Léger. Now a primary feature of her acclaimed compositions, Quin’s tubular forms in Second Palm Third Stem take the viewer on a visual rollercoaster, guiding the eye through a psychedelic field. “It’s like the painting falls off the edges, and I keep moving into the center. That’s how I know that a painting is finished—when I reach that point where you feel everything is flying at you and you’re just moving through it.”ii


    Albert Oehlen, U.D.O. 14, 2001-2005. Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid. Image: Album / Art Resource, New York, Artwork: © Albert Oehlen / Artists Rights Society, New York


    The intricate surface of Second Palm Third Stem is the result of Quin’s highly complex process. The artist begins her paintings by rendering the large tunneling forms, superimposing them with line drawings, often of biological motifs which emphasize the arterial connotations of her tubes. Once the material layers are built, Quin carves into the surface with tools ranging from her fingers to a spoon or butter knife. Finalizing the composition with a monotype technique, she presses the canvas against ink-covered glass. The finished painting exudes a rippling effect that she aptly likens to a moiré pattern, as the tension engendered by the overlapping imagery creates an arresting visual reverberation which emanates from the canvas.


    Wassily Kandinsky, Black Lines, 1913. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Image: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum/New York, NY/USA, Artwork: © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP


    While the gradient effect and synthetic-like hues of the present work evoke a digital aesthetic reminiscent of Albert Oehlen’s computer paintings, Second Palm Third Stem reveals Quin’s insistence on an allusion to nature that conjures the likes of Christina Quarles’ surreal bodies. The present work’s title and corporeal motifs suggest a nod to the organic realm, just as her analogue methods ultimately assert the painterliness of her compositions. It is in this way that Quin creates her own dialogue with the medium of painting, drawing from and subverting the influence of an increasingly digital world through her own sensibility. “And in our changing world,” as Cooper Johnson expressed, “Quin’s vision of biologically-imbibed and digitally-conscious abstraction gives hope for what painting can offer.”iii



    Collector’s Digest


    • Lauren Quin made her auction debut with Phillips in London this March, when Airsickness achieved £441,000 ($587,451), soaring over 14 times the low estimate.



    i Lauren Quin, quoted in Stephanie Eckhardt, “In the Studio With Lauren Quin, the Painter Doing Abstraction Her Own Way,” W Magazine, July 8, 2021, online.
    ii Ibid.
    iii Cooper Johnson, “Lauren Quin ‘Clutches,’” Artillery Magazine, August 19, 2020, online.

    • Provenance

      Harkawik, Los Angeles
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection


Second Palm Third Stem

signed "LQuin" on the reverse
oil on canvas
72 x 72 in. (182.9 x 182.9 cm)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $302,400

Contact Specialist

Amanda Lo Iacono
Global Managing Director and Specialist, Head of Evening Sale, New York
+1 212 940 1278

Carolyn Mayer
Associate Specialist, Associate Head of Evening Sale, New York
+1 212 940 1206

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 18 May 2022