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Rob Perrée: Marc Quinn bij Mary Boone

Marc Quinn bij Mary Boone

The New York Times

May 23, 2013
Marc Quinn: ‘All the Time in the World’

Mary Boone

541 West 24th Street, Chelsea

Through June 29

I was prepared to dismiss the British sculptor Marc Quinn’s much-enlarged bronze sculptures of seashells, made by high-tech 3-D replication, as pointless baubles for rich collectors. But I found in them an unexpected beauty, both literal and metaphorical.

Presented in an elegantly spare installation, the four works range from a two-ton elephantine conch shell, about 8 by 8 by 8 feet, to a knee-high 300-pound periwinkle. On the outside, each has a dull, yellowish color and crusty texture; the metal around the opening to each shell’s interior has been polished to a mirror-bright golden shine that continues into the cavernous interior, as far as you can see. Light reflecting off the gleaming surfaces inside causes the farthest depths to glow, as if there were some kind of illumination within. It’s an uncanny effect.

The exhibition’s title, “All the Time in the World,” and a gallery news release indicate that Mr. Quinn thinks of seashells as artistic creations of primordial nature. He says that “looking at these natural forms is like looking at the archaeology of art.”

To me, with their warmly luminous interiors, Mr. Quinn’s shells are implicitly vaginal. Mythic traditions associate femininity with nature and the sea, out of which Venus, the goddess of love, was born, as in Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.” It’s a nice reversal: sculptures that seem at first to be products of phallic ambition become objects of oceanic, feminine mystery.

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