Portraits of Landscapes

by Marc Quinn, 2007

Series of 8 pigment prints.
Edition of 59. Each print signed and dated by the artist and numbered on the reverse

At the heart of Marc Quinn’s artistic practice is the interplay of nature and culture, or of nature mediated through human intervention. His flower prints, like his paintings, take their origin from installations of flowers, which the artist himself arranges into a still life and then photographs in his studio. The plants are bought at the flower market in New Covent Garden and in their combination defy both climate and seasons, as many of them would not typically grow in the same place or at the same time. Previously, Marc Quinn had published two series of flower prints: Garden2 in 2000 and Winter Garden in 2004. Quinn carefully calibrated the images of Winter Garden, both in their tonal arrangement and compositional framing, to present us with panoramas of flowers. For the present series the artist decided to change the compositional format from landscape to portrait. The title Portraits of Landscapes refers to this shift quite literally. In addition to the change of format, Quinn now focuses on detail, for example zooming in on a snow-dusted strawberry in Untitled 2 which has been enlarged to giant scale far beyond life-size. His images hover between familiarity and abstraction. In Untitled 6 a flexed iris petal licks a microscopically magnified deep red strawberry, creating an erotically charged scene. Elsewhere Quinn pays homage to Georgia O’Keefe, concentrating on the receptacle of a phalaenopsis in a composition inspired by O’Keefe’s well-known paintings of calla lilies as in Untitled 3. However, most familiar flowers are rendered almost unrecognizable. In Untitled 1 the flattened red in the background is barely identifiable as the petal of a flamingo lily, while the purple triangle is discernable as an iris only because of its repeated inclusion in other prints. Whilst continuing to follow a long tradition of flower still lifes, with Portraits of Landscapes Quinn introduces a new level of abstraction to the genre and his work. As with Self, digital files of the images that Quinn had selected for the series were sent to Adam Lowe at Factum Arte. Rafa Rachewsky printed the edition on an Epson 1180 printer under Lowe’s supervision. Each print was sealed by hand with a thick UV-protective varnish. In addition to protecting the prints, the varnish also heightens the saturation of the colours.

  • 1100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 2100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 3100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 4100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 5100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 6100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 7100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)
  • 8100 x 75 cm (39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in)