Ged Quinn was born in 1963 in Liverpool, UK. In the 1980s and 90s, Quinn studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford, UK; Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK; Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, Germany; and Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He now lives and works in Cornwall, UK.
Despite the familiar aspects in Ged Quinn’s use of painting techniques—ranging from the classical and Romantic traditions of European landscape, such as Caspar David Friedrich, to the American Sublime—his introduction of incongruent and often disturbing imagery, disruptions of scale, and an undercurrent of religious sensibility and political and cultural iconography creates a sense of haunting and dislocation. In Quinn’s work, the landscapes themselves have a visionary character, providing an unfolding freedom that is a boundless showground for significance. There are circulations, juxtapositions, and layering that allow for a large amount of readings and narratives to develop and disappear. There is a constant sense of play both between and within the imagery, which gives space for meanings, yet ultimately denies the satisfaction of any final explanation.
There is an energy that moves throughout his works, which is in part driven by Quinn’s surreal and radical methods of composition and use of imagery. In conflicting and irregular landscapes, there are complex voids and structures. Ged Quinn is celebrated for his densely layered paintings that transform art historical techniques into contemporary experience. His paintings critique cultural icons through intervention, rather than through strict representation, with concepts of historicity and the collapse of boundaries between the internal and external, all working in definite ways to generate a stimulating political and cultural dialogue. He works in meticulous detail and executes with extraordinary technical skill. Multiple histories, narratives, and mythological emblems collide. The interplay of elements drawn from Western cultural history, mythology, philosophy, and the imagination create an engagement with the viewer that challenges and plays with preconceived notions of beauty and art.
Recent notable solo exhibitions include Rose, Cherry, Iron Rust, Flamingo (2017), Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China; Ged Quinn (2014), Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK; Ged Quinn (2013–14), New Art Gallery Walsall, West Midlands, UK; Endless Renaissance (2012–13), Bass Museum, Miami Beach, USA; FOCUS: Ged Quinn (2012), Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Ged Quinn (2010), Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK; The Heavenly Machine (2005), Spike Island, Bristol, UK; and Utopia Dystopia (2004), Tate St. Ives, UK.
Notable group exhibitions include Synthetic Landscapes: Reviewing the ideal landscape (2017), Meadow Arts and Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Weston Park, Shifnal, UK; CLASSICICITY: Ancient art, contemporary objects (2015), Breese Little, London, UK; Cake and Lemon Eaters: Viktor Pivovarov and Ged Quinn (2014), Galerie Rudolfinum and The Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava, Czech Republic; Somos Libres II (2014), Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy; Looking at the View (2013), Tate Britain, London, UK; The Future is Not What It Used To Be (2013), Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, UK; The Endless Rennaissance (2012), Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; Beyond Reality: British Painting Today(2012), Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic; The Witching Hour (2010), Water Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK; Lust for Life & Dance of Death (2010), Kunsthalle Krems, Austria; Newspeak: British Art Now (2009–10), Saatchi Gallery, London, UK and State Hermitage Museum, St.Petersberg, Russia; Made Up, Liverpool Biennale (2008), Tate Liverpool, UK; Collezionami, 2nd Biennale of Southern Italy (2006), Puglia, Italy; and The Real Ideal (2005), Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, UK.
Quinn’s works are included in prominent collections internationally, including British Museum, London, UK; the FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA; The Honart Museum, Tehran, Iran; K11 Art Foundation(KAF), Hong Kong, China; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Olbricht Collection, Essen,Germany; Saatchi Collection, London, UK; Tate Collection, London, UK; Tel Aviv Art Museum, Israel and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK.