R. H. Quaytman. The Sun Does Not Move. Chapter 35 – Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea
A new edition of "The Sun Does Not Move. Chapter 35" exhibition entering into dialogue with the oeuvre of Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński prepared especially for Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź by R. H. Quaytman, an outstanding American painter in 2019 will be presented in renowned Serralves Museum in Portugal.
Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto
Since 2001 Quaytman oeuvre has been structured into ‘chapters’. Each of them is a separate exhibition consisting of paintings created especially for the event and sometimes supplemented with carefully chosen earlier artworks. Each such exhibition is site-specific, meaning it refers to architectural but also historic and institutional context of a place. Enthusiasts of contemporary art visiting the museum in Porto will have an opportunity to see Quaytman’s works of which she made her Łódź chapter and some new paintings used by the artist as references to looming problems, emerging, in particular, on grounds of politics causing increasing concerns.
Quaytman enlivens the painting medium demonstrating its ability to remain an efficient tool in critical analysis of visual reality although the nature of paintings that are filling up this reality has radically changed in our times. Her works, deeply rooted in the history of art and in art theory, make reference to philosophical reflection on the nature of painting, representation, construction of visual signs and the phenomenon of seeing. However, just like in Strzemiński’s oeuvre, these aspects are explored not only at a formal level but they provide foundations for building narratives that deal with memory (and forgetting), construction of space, in which our imagination works side by side with ourselves, the nature of history (both general and personal) or manipulating visual information.
Amongst Quaytman’s exhibitions that have been presented so far, the one at Muzeum Sztuki was a remarkable conceptual retrospective. In the artist’s biography, Łódź and Muzeum Sztuki are places linked with the very beginnings of her ‘book’. The first chapters were largely drawing from the material collected by the artist during her first trip to Łódź where Quaytman discovered the oeuvre of Katarzyna Kobro. This radical constructivist sculptor who worked in this city in the first half of the 20th century and whose almost entire legacy can be found in the collection of Muzeum Sztuki, considered her sculptures as ‘prototypes’. They were intended to be used by architects, city planners, and social engineers to develop solutions that would rationalize the organization of space for human activities. Meanwhile, one of her sculptures, “Spatial Composition No. 2”, became a ’prototype’ also for Quaytman and her experiments with the spatial dimension of image and painting. The exhibition at the Muzeum Sztuki explored this aspect providing a retrospective insight into shared foundations of her art. The ‘prototype’ used by Quaytman will be re-updated again in the context of the exhibition in Porto.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue designed by Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, Serralves, and Konig Verlag in cooperation with the artist.
The exhibition is organised in cooperation with Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto: