Christina Quarles

Born 1985.
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Christina Quarles Biography

Born in Chicago in 1985, Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Christina Quarles creates abstract works that explore human bodies as vessels for the endless nuances of identity. Having received her BA from Hampshire College in 2007, where she studied Philosophy and Studio Art, Quarles then earned her MFA at Yale University and participated at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in 2016. In her paintings, which touch upon themes such as racial and sexual identity, figures with outstretched limbs bend and twirl in saturated pigments against planes of solid color and patches of intricate pattern.

While her early works were inclusive of text, Quarles’ current practice sees her paintings devoid of the written word. Still, the artist approaches her canvases without a fixed plan, creating forms that then become the dynamic painterly figures she is known for. Quarles then utilizes technologies such as Adobe Illustrator to conceive of the backgrounds. Finally, Quarles translates this imagery onto the canvas with paint and other materials, the result of which is often a textured and surreal painting about the power of transformation.

Quarles was awarded with the 2017 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and the 2019 Pérez Art Museum Miami Prize. The focus of numerous solo and group exhibitions – among them shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, X Museum Beijing, San Jose Museum of Art and Perez Art Museum in Miami – Quarles’ work is currently being featured at the 59th iteration of La Biennale di Venezia from April 23-November 27 2022. Her work is also housed in acclaimed public collections, including Centre Pompidou in Paris, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and Tate Modern in London.

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