Pilar Corrias is delighted to present a solo exhibition of new work by Christina Quarles this autumn. In this new body of work, Quarles continues to delve into notions of identity and representation, synthesising her study of drawing, experimental painting techniques and digital technology. Painted during the summer months, the light and colours of the L.A. sky bleed through Quarles’ palette. Lattice-like patterns and recognisable motifs such as swimming pools, sunsets and concentrated stripes are redeployed as intricate environments, rendering multiple layers of meaning within the work. Commanding sustained attention from the viewer, the artist’s densley painted canvases develop and unfold over time, rendering movement within the static image.
Perception remains central to the language of Quarles’ art. As with her psychedelic patterns and open picture planes, her ambiguous forms act as rhetorical devices; a figurative expression of the complexities of identity. Informed by her experience as a queer, multiracial woman, her painted figures serve as a metaphor for interior processes, communicating the nuanced experience of living within a body, and how that body might be interpreted within changing social contexts.
Works including Too Hot to Hoot and Burden Of Yer Own Making introduce a tilted picture plane, prompting a literal shift in perspective. The use of painted containers articulate the architectural features of Quarles’ paintings, while investigating the physical parameters of the canvas, legibility and the self. Glass-like refractions of light and image produce the experience of looking through a surface, permitting access to intimate layers of information. Here Quarles plays with the materiality of fragility – the psychological and emotional contexts that frame her approach to pattern making, figuration and abstraction, as much as social critique.
New to her practice, Quarles’ paintings on paper are smaller in scale, challenging and relocating the artist’s bodily relationship to her process. The condensed scale and brush movement provides the opportunity for the artist to distil the formal language honed in her larger works. Meanwhile, the restricted pictorial space produces an intense visual experience, encouraging a rediscovery of the artist’s mark-making, material decisions and her deliberate use of negative space.
Tripping Over My Joy is Quarles’ fourth exhibition with the gallery. It follows critically acclaimed solo shows at the Hamburger Bahnhof earlier this year, the MCA Chicago (2021), and a presentation of her work in the Venice Biennale (2022). Christina Quarles has been represented by Pilar Corrias since 2017, having her first European solo show with the gallery, Always Brightest Before Tha Dusk, in 2018.