Letter 14: April 17, 2022

It’s been a while since my last letter. It’s this habit I have, I find it hard to be self-reflective when I don’t have something else to reflect upon. I have to be reading at least one book, writing about something old and something new (by old, I mean something unfinished, and thus progressively difficult; and by new, I mean something fresh and therefore hopeful). Then, when my brain has room to move, to wander, I can think about what thinking means. Though I haven’t gotten back into the habit of strolling through art galleries and the various neighborhoods that house them, I still see the work online and would recommend it. I’d also like to have a conversation about these artists if you’re so inclined. Here’s the first one.

I’ve followed the work of Maureen McQuillan for years. She’s currently having a solo exhibition called “Two Ways About it” at McKenzie Fine Art (55 Orchard Street), on view until May 8th. Her paintings have remained consistent over the years with little tweaks now and then. They resemble what I imagine a microwave or radio-wave looks like, with the colored forms emerging out of a mottled darkness. Her new work has her going two different ways. One is the standard form, using a lot of chiaroscuro, and the other has the forms flaring out widely, like radioactive flower petals, interspersed with these dark bars that impose a solid and constricted energy. The two share the same space, altering it forever. I’ve always found it opaque and impassive despite a reflective chromatic charm.

Untitled (TW/VTYO/PM), 2021. Ink and acrylic polymers on wood panel, 15 1/2 x 15 inches

Untitled (TW/Y/3B), 2020. Ink and acrylic polymers on wood panel, 10 x 10 inches

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