Lauren Quin paintings in New York

125 Newbury presents Lauren Quin: Logopanic, an exhibition of new paintings by the Los Angeles-based Quin. The show, which will take place at 125 Newbury’s location at 395 Broadway in Tribeca from May 3 until June 15 of 2024, will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. 

In Lauren Quin’s paintings, form occupies a fugue state. Quin builds her compositions methodically,  layer by layer, only to scrape through them, carving channels that spiderweb across the picture. Her paintings are palimpsests; past and present mingle in a single surface, interrupting one another. Both sedimentary and archaeological, the works are as much excavated as painted. Constructed from an  arsenal of recurring gestures and techniques, Quin often makes use of marks she refers to as “tubes,” together with skeins and filigrees of color that she monoprints directly onto a work’s surface. 

“The ambition of Lauren’s work is astonishing to me,” Arne Glimcher, founder of 125 Newbury, said. “When I walked into her studio for the first time, it was blast a fresh air. The environment her paintings  created was electric. I immediately felt that here was an artist ready to take on the world. It was something I found instantly captivating.”

For Quin, the act of painting involves the risk of getting lost. To paint is to give up a fixed location – in spac,e but also in language. The exhibition’s title suggests an anxiety or instability around words and images. From the Greek logos (meaning “word”) and penia (meaning “poverty, absence, or lack”),  logopenia refers to a type of aphasia, a condition characterized by a progressive loss of the faculties of speech. In the colloquial sense, a logo is a visual and symbolic metonym – an image that stands for  something else. “Logo panic” evokes a sense of unmooring from such systems of signification.  

Quin orients her practice around an archive of drawings, prints, and carvings, which contain an ever expanding collection of symbols. A hand, a spider, a vulture, a needle, a skull, the sun—for Quin, these  symbols function in myriad ways. At times, they provide the starting point for a painting; at others, Quin  prints the symbol onto the surface of an existing composition – or carves it directly into the painted  surface – disrupting or inflecting its evolution.

Often, she will transfer a symbol onto the verso of a canvas, where it remains hidden from the viewer, but available to her as she works. The drawings act as anchorages, providing fixed reference points as a composition unfolds, and linking one painting to the  next. These drawings are always evolving and bleeding back into her larger repertoire, seeding new  possibilities for paintings. 

Shadows and traces of imagery ebb and flow across Quin’s canvases, caught in relentless currents of form, refusing solidification or coherence. Quin’s tubes are tools for abstraction, but they are also  tunnels, pathways, furrows, or mouths. A swirl of paint is at once a sun and a cymbal – and also a symbol. Her paintings are constantly digesting her symbols, subsuming and transforming them  wholesale, eroding contours and allowing form to diffuse in suspended animation.

“I think of the symbols  as windsocks,” Quin explains of her drawings, “They are not as important as the direction of the wind, or the wind itself.” 

What results from Quin’s process are manifolds of chromatic and temporal counterpoint – paintings that  hold space for a matrix of internal struggles: between the solid and the ephemeral, image and non image, symbol and cymbal. In this way, Quin is involved in charting a new and deeply self-reflexive mode  of abstraction. Skirting the edges of signification and eschewing fixity, Quin’s paintings quest for what  words cannot contain, circling around meaning rather than seeking to touch it directly. 

About the Artist

Lauren Quin (b. 1992) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received her MFA from the Yale School of  Art and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Her work was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Art (2023).

About 125 Newbury

125 Newbury is a project space in New York City helmed by Arne Glimcher, Founder and Chairman of Pace Gallery. Named for the original location of Pace, which Glimcher opened at 125 Newbury Street in Boston in 1960, the venture is located at 395 Broadway in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, at the corner of Walker Street.

Occupying a 3,900-square-foot ground-floor space in a landmark building with 17-foot ceilings, the interior of 125 Newbury has been fully renovated by Enrico Bonetti and Dominic Kozerski of Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture. 

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