Ged Quinn in his studio

Ged Quinn

United Kingdom 1963


Ged Quinn
Ged Quinn
United Kingdom
March 30, 2016
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

The interest for the past times, art history, and mythology is evident in the work of British artist Ged Quinn who depicts landscapes in the vein of a French painter of the Baroque era Claude Lorrain. The artist – who works without studio assistants – has an outstanding ability to re-create the style of the Masters landscapists, but it is the present/past narrative that he wants to appreciate and linger over. In Quinn’s large landscapes, flower paintings, portraits, as well as in his abstract works, there is no linear story, only life experience and knowledge of the literary classics to guide the subjective interpretation by observers.

Rose, Cherry, Iron Rust, Flamingo, 2014 news home use
Ged Quinn – Rose, Cherry, Iron Rust, Flamingo, 2014, photo credits Stephen Friedman Gallery

Ged Quinn’s Allegorical Paintings

Born in 1963 in Liverpool, England, Quinn studied at the Ruskin School of Art and St Anne’s College in Oxford, the Slade School of Art in London, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. His large-scale landscape canvases evolved from a spectrum of sources in art, photographs, memory, newspaper cuttings and books. Through his oeuvre, Quinn shows his love of traditional styles of painting such as the Baroque and Romantic, but he also includes his own references to contemporary culture by adding many details to the pieces. His allegorical oil paintings include contemporary images, generally on topics in Western cultural history, in idyllic scenes based on classical paintings such as the works of Claude Lorrain and Caspar David Friedrich. Exploring themes such as religion, politics and dictatorship as well as failure, he gives his landscapes unusual twists.

Quinn’s large-scale pieces evolved from a spectrum of sources in art, photographs, memory,
newspaper cuttings, and books

Last night I Dreamt I was Billy The Kid, 2008 (Left) / The Anxious Attempt of Art to Mourn the Silence, 2010 (Right) news home use
Ged Quinn – Last night I Dreamt I was Billy The Kid, 2008 (Left) / The Anxious Attempt of Art to Mourn the Silence, 2010 (Right), photo credits of Wilkinson Gallery

Utopia Dystopia at the Tate St. Ives

In 2004, Quinn was the second participant of the Tate St Ives Artists’ Residency Programme based at the historic Porthmeor Studio in St Ives, previously occupied by Borlase Smart, Ben Nicholson, and Patrick Heron. Utopia Dystopia is a selection of work made during Quinn’s six-month full-time residency and presented for the first time at his show at the Tate St. Ives in 2004. Since then, the creative has had almost all of his work purchased by various high profile collectors as well as remaining in a handful of reputable public collections, including Tel Aviv Art Museum, Honart Museum, Iran, and Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Flaschenpost, 2011, articles contact news
Ged Quinn – Flaschenpost, 2011, photo credits Emily G.Perry

Music Career

Quinn was also one of the three original core members of the Liverpool group The Wild Swans, along with Paul Simpson and Jeremy Kelly. The original incarnation of The Wild Swans lasted until 1982, issuing one single The Revolutionary Spirit/God Forbid. He was also involved when the post-punk band reformed in 1986, although he left shortly afterwards to pursue his art career. During the split of the Wild Swans, Quinn was also a member of another Liverpool band, The Lotus Eaters (1982–1985). Quinn co-wrote their debut single The First Picture of You which became a hit in the UK and Europe, notably France, Italy and Spain.

Hegel s Happy End, 2012 (Left) / I Forget, 2015 (Right), contact gallery
Ged Quinn – Hegel’s Happy End, 2012 (Left) / I Forget, 2015 (Right), photo credits Stephen Friedman Gallery

Layers of Meaning in Quinn’s Oeuvre

Quinn’s paintings are deeply layered with meaning and not always easily understood – multiple histories, narratives and mythological emblems are placed into firm traditions of landscapes, still-life painting and genre painting. The artist is creating a deep tension within his works, a constant conversation and competition between motifs and symbols. Under his hand, the idyllic landscape and the ordinary still life are altered from the familiar to the fantastic.

The artist is represented by Me Collectors Room Berlin.

Ged Quinn currently lives and works in Cornwall, UK.

All images copyright © the artist
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Ged QuinnUpton House, Warwickshire, EnglandSolo
2015CLASSICICITY: Ancient art, contemporary objectsBreese Little, London, EnglandGroup
2015Twentieth Anniversary ExhibitionStephen Friedman Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2015HomelandSimon Lee Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2014Cake and Lemon Eaters. Viktor Pivovarov and Ged QuinnGalerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2014Somos Libres IIPinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, ItalyGroup
2013Ged QuinnNew Art Gallery Walsall, West Midlands, UKSolo
2013Landscape 2000Osnabruck Cultural History Museum and Felix Nussbaum Haus, Osnabruck, GermanynGroup
2013Looking at the ViewTate Britain, London, EnglandGroup
2013The Future's Not What It Used To BeNewlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, EnglandGroup
2013Disaster/The End of DaysGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, FranceGroup
2012The Endless Renaissance - Six Solo Artists ProjectsBass Museum, Miami, Florida, USASolo
2012FOCUS: Ged QuinnModern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, USASolo
2012Beyond Reality: British Painting TodayGalerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2012Everywhere and nowhereReydan Weiss Collection, Oberstdorf, GermanyGroup
2011Ged QuinnStephen Friedman Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2010Somebody's Coming That Hates UsWilkinson Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2010The Witching HourWaterhall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, EnglandGroup
2010Chambres a part IV: MascaradeA proposition by Laurence Dreyfus, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Restore us and Regain: Ged Quinn, Tommy Grace, Tony SwainMackintosh Museum, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
2010Lust For Life & Dance of DeathOlbricht Collection, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria Group
2010Newspeak: British Art NowSaatchi Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2009Newspeak: British Art NowState Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, RussiaGroup
2009KunskogFive Hundred Dollars, London, EnglandGroup
2009Kings, Gods and MortalsHamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2008John Moores 25Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UKGroup
2008Made UpLiverpool Biennale 2008, Tate Liverpool, UKGroup
2008Jekyll IslandGalerie Charlotte Moser, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2008Doktors Traum, Olbricht Collection - New AspectsNeues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, GermanyGroup
2008Monochrome: Drawing & PrintsRabley Drawing Centre, Wiltshire, UKGroup
2007My Great Unhappiness Gives me a Right to your BenevolenceWilkinson Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2007Stranger than ParadiseGalerie Charlotte Moser, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2007Rockers Island, Olbricht CollectionMuseum Folkwang, Essen, GermanyGroup
2007Salon NouveauEngelholm Engelholm Gallery, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2006Collezionami, 2nd Biennale of Southern ItalyBari, Puglia, ItalyGroup
2005Ged QuinnWilkinson Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2005The Heavenly MachineSpike Island, Bristol, UKSolo
2005The Real IdealMillennium Galleries, Sheffield, UKGroup
2005Wonderings...Waugh & Thistleton, London, EnglandGroup
2005ShowCASeCity Art Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2005MOSTYN 2005Oriel Mostyn, LLandudno, Wales, UKGroup
2004Utopia DystopiaTate St.Ives, UKSolo
2000Brooks Quinn VossNewlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall, UKGroup
1999New PaintingsMarlene Eleini, London, EnglandSolo
1999ShowElizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, USAGroup
1999IWPC 10Museum of Recent History, Ljubliania, SloveniaGroup
1997Performance, Video installation with Oliver HerringCamden Arts Centre, London, EnglandGroup
1995Language of the WallMuseum of Contemporary Art, Ljubliana, SloveniaGroup
1994Oxide Cinema, video media installationRijksakademie, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsSolo