Christina Quarles

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Artist Statement

Legibility teeters on the edge of lack and excess—when we lack information about a thing, it is vague. However, as information accumulates, the risk for contradiction increases and legibility tips into ambiguity. As a Queer, cis-woman who is Black but is often mistaken as white, I engage with the world from a position that is multiply situated. My project is informed by my daily experience with ambiguity and seeks to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity through images that challenge the viewer to contend with the disorganized body in a state of excess.

In this work, contour lines, and the emphasis on both the surface and the edge of the frame are analogous to the edge of the body. For example, in the installation “It’s Gunna Be All Right, Cause Baby There Ain’t Nuthin’ Left,” what appears to be pictures hanging on the wall are in fact two-dimensional, painted trompe l’oeil illusions. Just as the edge of the canvases in this installation are illusory, so too are the boundaries that demarcate the self.

The contradiction of my Black ancestry coupled with my fair skin, results in my place always being my displace. Throughout my paintings, there are perspectival planes that both situate and fragment the bodies they bisect—location becomes dislocation. Fixed categories of identity can be used to marginalize but, paradoxically, can be used by the marginalized to gain visibility and political power. This paradox is the central focus of my practice.

CV 

Education
2016
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Skowhegan, MN.
MFA in Painting and Printmaking. Yale University, New Haven, CT
2007
BA in Studio Arts and Philosophy Hampshire College, Amherst, MA.

Selected Exhibitions
2016
Queering Space. Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT.
I’d Rather Be Here Than Almighty. 315 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
Meatballs. Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, ME
Curated by Carl Ostendarp and Louis Cameron
Partners. Abrons Center for the Arts, New York, NY
Curated by Anoka Faruqee and Michael Queenland
Double Dip: MFA Painting Thesis. Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT.
Curated by Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Sheila Pepe.
Tight Squeeze. Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.
Curated by Barry Markowitz
2015
Second Coming. Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT.
Incognito. Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA.
2014
First Things. Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT.
InsituWorks Pop Up. 215 Bowery, New York, NY.
Incognito. Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA.
2013
3! Actual Size, Los Angeles, CA.
Incognito. Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA.
2012
Heaven: Art of Elysium. Hosted by Christie’s, Los Angeles, CA.
2011
E’clepsydre. HBC, Berlin, Germany.
2010
After Christmas. Public Space One, Iowa City, IA
2007
Dissonant Bodies (solo exhibition). Hampshire College Gallery, Amherst, MA.
2005
Five College Drawing. Smith College Gallery, Northampton, MA.
Risking Delight in Spite of Everything/ Blanchard Gallery, South Hadley, MA
2004
In/Ex (solo exhibition). PCC Gallery, Pasadena, CA.

Awards, Fellowships, and grants
2015
Robert Schoelkopf Travel Fellowship, Yale University
2009
B U I L D Studio Residency, Deep River, CT.
2008
Hearth Farm Fellowship, New York.
2006
J. Paul Getty Foundation Grant, Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program
Simmons Scholarship
Arturo Schomburg Scholarship
Hampshire College Grant
2005
J. Paul Getty Foundation Grant, Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program
Arturo Schomburg Scholarship
Field Study Grant, Hampshire College
Hampshire College Grant
2004
Arturo Schomburg Scholarship
Hampshire College Grant

Press & publications
2016
The Creator’s Project, A Look Inside the First Queer Show at Yale School of Art (review).
Two Coats of Paint, Examining Queer @ Yale University (review).
aqnb, I’d Rather Be Here Than Almighty (review).
Art Viewer, I’d Rather Be Here Than Almighty (review)
Palimpsest: Yale Literary and Arts Magazine, Hybridity (work feature)
Yale Daily News, Thesis Show Highlights Painting and Printmaking (review)
2015
Winter Tangerine Review: Hands Up Don’t Shoot,
Double Consciousness (interview)
2013
THSart, Talking Art with Christina Quarles (interview)

Professional experience
2016
Teaching Assistant, Advanced Printmaking. Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Teaching Assistant, Graduate Printmaking: The Hybrid Form. Yale University, New Haven, CT
2015
Lecturer, “Histories of Inheritance: Race, Queerness and Identity in the Caribbean” Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Jury Member, Painting and Printmaking Admissions Panel. Yale University, New Haven, CT

Juried Registries
The Drawing Center Viewing Program, New York, NY