But there is something not quite right about Marc Quinn’s latest set of sculptures, which have come to the Soane Museum for a saccharine and rather troubling new exhibition, Drawn from Life.
These sculptures claim to be a ‘collaboration’ between the erstwhile YBA and his young muse and lover, the dancer Jenny Bastet. But this exhibition isn’t about Quinn’s love for her, or about the freedom and wildness of dance. It is merely a hypersexualised body. You can’t help but feel uncomfortable – like catching someone in a private act, you want to leave these lovers to it.
Quinn hasn’t been able to resist putting himself into these works, either (nor has he been able to resist adding a good few inches to his stature. In real life Bastet towers over him. But that’s by-the-by). Both artist and subject, Quinn appears as a dominating masculine presence, wrapping his arms around the slender female, massaging, cupping, pressing. The result is uniquely stifling. You can’t help but think of the remarkable Rodin sculptures that came to the Courtauld last year, which celebrated the joy of dance and the power of the female form. Quinn’s embody none of this jubilance.
The famous self-portrait Self was made by Quinn from nine pints of his own frozen blood – a work which would, and apparently did, melt in minutes if not stored correctly. His iconic statue of Alison Lapper, the artist born without arms, turned her into a warrior atop Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth. These were shocking, inspirational works that adored the human body whilst acknowledging its vulnerability. But Quinn's new sculptures feel behind the times, beautiful as they are.
|What||Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life review|
Sir John Soane’s Museum
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP | MAP
|Nearest tube||Holborn (underground)|
28 Mar 17 – 23 Sep 17, Tues - Sat: 10am - 5pm, Last entry at 4:30pm, Sun - Mon: Closed
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