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Merlion 01-24-2008 08:03 AM

Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
They will be on show in London from Jan 25 to Feb 24, 2008. There are more pictures in the link below.

The womb with a view: Artist's amazing foetus sculptures

24 Jan 2007. Marc Quinn last amazed the public by placing a giant pregnant disabled woman on the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square.

Now he is looking at pregnancy from the inside with nine large sculptures depicting the development of a foetus from 22 days to just before birth.

They have been carved in a pink marble whose mottling conveys the fine veins below the growing child's skin.


They go on display at the White Cube Mason's Yard gallery, St James's, tomorrow in Quinn's first exhibition in the capital since 2005.

Quinn was inspired partly by Slaves, sculptures by the Renaissance master Michelangelo, in which bodies almost fight their way out of rough-hewn rock.

But the five-ton sculptures, made of marble quarried from the Spanish-Portuguese border, were also prompted by witnessing the way viewers reacted with repulsion to Alison Lapper, the Trafalgar Square model, and to his series of figurative sculptures depicting people missing arms and legs. ...

The embryo sequence is being sold as a whole under the title Evolution. The show runs until 23 February.

GlennT 01-24-2008 11:23 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Beautiful work. This defies the lazy-minded notion that everything has already been done with human figurative sculpture.

suburbanartists 01-24-2008 01:37 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Looks like ET's kid.

Tlouis 01-24-2008 02:03 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Nicely done. But...did Quinn do the carving, or did he farm it out to stone cutters?

fritchie 01-24-2008 07:31 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
I have to admit I'm impressed, and doubtless the work was done by technicians and/or machines, but that's standard technique for large works these days. I also like the way he apparently insists the whole shebang be kept together. That way, it serves an educational rather than purely speculative purpose.

Merlion 01-24-2008 08:13 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Marc Quinn decided to carve these foetus sculptures our of pink marble. He seems to be trying to get these sculptures close to the transparent pinkish fresh color of foetus we see from medical cameras, real or unreal, see below.

For some reason, the colors do not show well in this online article above. Unless this is the best color he can get from these pink marbles.

...

grommet 01-24-2008 08:23 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Sorry, the sculptures don't do anything for me. Making them bigger doesn't make any difference. Is it more real for men this way?

Merlion 01-24-2008 09:38 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Gosh. What if Marc Quinn join force with Ron Muerk and make nine hyper-realism foetuses of this size !

grommet 01-24-2008 09:45 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Again, does the size make it more real for you????

Merlion 01-25-2008 04:17 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
No, of course it is the other way round Grommet.

If these are hyper-realistic foetus sculptures, making them big size assures viewers they are not realistic. Also, as sculptors, we know that generally big size also give a stronger impact than small size.

grommet 01-25-2008 09:48 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
I disagree on your generalizations.

Merlion 01-26-2008 12:18 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
LOL! I suppose it is no fun if we all agree.

But Grommet, why did you say you disagree?

grommet 01-26-2008 08:24 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Quote:

making them big size assures viewers they are not realistic. Also, as sculptors, we know that generally big size also give a stronger impact than small size.
This is what i have a problem with.
So what you're saying is the sculptor wanted to make them less real by making them larger so they'd have more impact. (And let's make them really heavy while we're at it.)
I find the logic fuzzy at best and a thin thread to follow to the point of the sculpture-- if he used the same logic. Care to rephrase, or are you sticking with this rationalization?
Do you just want to say you feel a sense of awe in the presence of the little critters? help me out here, you're giving me nothing other than "nice job carving" is that it? The powerful feeling of "creation"? you got nothin?

Merlion 01-28-2008 01:56 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
This talk about real foetus reminds me of Gunther von Hagen's BodyWorlds exhibition I saw. It displays a number of preserved dead foetuses at different months after being conceived. Here are two shown below, taken from the link below.


And here is another foetus still in the mother's open womb.


Cantab 01-28-2008 04:46 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Sorry, guys. This looks dreadful. If we take the foetal representation first of all – what exactly has Quinn done here? Like his Alison Lapper, he has produced another characterless piece of carving. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the Lapper piece had all the character of the work that Italian stone workshops produce (where the Lapper piece was itself made, and where YOU can have anything you want carved at will, to the highest technical quality. You don’t even have to turn up – just send pics). These are guys who are craftsmen but they are stone masons because they are NOT artists. Unless the artist can shape that process, then the work ends up as a piece of bland representation, and no amount of clever stuff with the type of stone (here the veining and colour) will change that. Henry Moore used the stonemason yards at Pietrasanta (where Quinn goes), but everything Moore had done was channelled through his own personal STYLE and that impacted on the carving through to finishing and texturing (at the level of finish, texturing, scratching and lining are important elements of the Moore style). Quinn has no style – the Lapper piece and these pieces are STYLE FREE, in the same way the work of the monumental mason who produces elaborate memorials is style-free. And the reason for this is simple: all the great sculptors bring more than ideas to the stone. Michelangelo, referred to in the post 1 article, developed a ground breaking style of representation of the human form. It was not just classicism reborn, it was something new. His work is also unique in terms of finish – the use of the claw chisel, for instance, and the work deliberately left unfinished because of a developing love of the unworked stone. The character of the artist is imbedded in the stone through individual technique and elements of style, quite apart from the sets of ideas and emotions pursued.

As for the references in post 1 to Michelangelo: give me a break. The foetus struggling out of the stone? A cute little idea, and worth about sixty seconds’ contemplation. For Michelangelo, the relation of the stone to the emerging carved figure was a profound one, as well as being a metaphor for the relation of artist/carver to the stone. Michelangelo loved the PROCESS of carving – the banging away, the cutting, the elaborate claw work that is like a kind of drawing in stone, the play of light that illuminates form, etc. These Quinn foetus’ CAN only succeed at the level of idea (if they do succeed at all) because they have not been born out of the artist’s struggle with the stone and the artists’s attempt to impart personality into stone. And to extend a foetal metaphor, Michelangelo’s work was born out of his labour, his character as a carver, his WORK on the stone. It wasn’t just a clever idea on the drawing board, or in Quinn’s case, the computer program. For, in the end, this work looks like art that was designed with the bland formulas of the graphics program, not a living artist with a long-standing relationship with either drawing or stone. It’s an insult to artists like Michelangelo to compare them.

Blake 01-28-2008 05:44 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Where is the art?
I have to agree with Cantab, what Quinn done here like his Alison Lapper, or worse Kate Moss, he has had someone else produce another characterless piece of carving.
Where is the art? Perhaps we have education but not art.

This is done to be appreciated by the media.
This is NOT done to be appreciated by the public or art lovers.

I think we are on a fast decent in art production today. Here Quinn has past mediocrity and the quality of this art has fallen into the bin.
Blake

grommet 01-28-2008 12:23 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Thanks for the responses confirming my assessment. I waited in vain for anyone to step up and give me any reason why I should be moved by the display.

Cantab 04-14-2008 06:37 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
In this and other threads we have been interested in the extent to which Quinn carries out his own work. And I have expressed reservations about his use of mass production Italian carving studios to complete work like the Alison Lapper piece. I also felt that some of this work looked computer-generated, that is, lacking all style and character.

‘The Observer’ newspaper in the UK has just offered a short book on art, in which Quinn refers to these issues, as follows:

He refers initially to his motivations in his work, and to “making meditative objects about eternal things…which are specific to now.” I like that. He also refers to his love of Greek and Roman art, and Michelangelo, all of which I like too – sounds like a man who wants to do something related to the tradition. I like that too.

He then goes on to refer to a sculpture he is working on, as follows: “It was scanned from a little sculpture and then cut by computer into a block of polystyrene which was then cast in bronze……. How much of a work I actually produce depends on the artwork. Sometimes it 100%, sometimes nothing. Artists have always worked that way…..…Ultimately whatever it takes to get it done is what matters”.

I think we can see what Quinn is up to by this last statement. Getting the work done as efficiently as possible is actually not the statement of a sculptor who really works in stone, loves the medium or has a love of the possibilities of carving. Michelangelo, who has influenced recent Quinn work, it seems, was not only interested in the outcome, but the PROCESS. His work is full of process, even in the final pieces. As I’ve mentioned earlier in the thread, all that fascinating claw chisel work that remains in the final object is part of the character of a Michelangelo, and of the artist’s love of the process. This is not the work of an artist who thinks ‘getting done’ is what counts. The other Quinn statement here – “Artists have always worked this way”. Well, artists have always had assistants, had studios reproduce work, and so on. But I know for a fact that Michelangelo never produced a single work that was entirely made by his assistants. And of course, that would be difficult anyway. Unlike Quinn’s computer generated images, and his final pieces, Michelangelo’s work is full of the character of the MAN, the CARVER, the WORK in the studio. In the end, Quinn may be able to justify his techniques by reference to what we CAN do with modern technology, but until he gets down to producing an actual carved style, he will just be, for me, Machine Man producing machine art. Now, I liked it when Bauhaus got into all that machine stuff, but unlike Bauhaus, Quinn’s using technology to cut corners, and to evade the issue of a hard-earned style. That’s why Quinn’s references to the inspiration of Michelangelo rings false – I feel nauseated by the sheer lack of the human element in the finish of his work. It could be make of plastic or resin. There is no love of stone here, and no love of what has to be earned the hard way.

cheesepaws 04-14-2008 07:31 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
I don’t know - I don’t think you can equate the statement you quoted from Quinn regarding “whatever it takes” with cutting corners and working as efficiently as possible. There is obviously a ton of planning, coordination, technology-based fabrication, finishing and marketing involved – ALL are considered contemporary studio process.

If you had free access to Quinn’s machines and technicians for a few months I bet you would produce some very beautiful work and would probably walk away with a greater appreciation for his working methods. Of course, it probably wouldn’t change you opinion of Quinn’s aesthetic or subject. I do not think you can automatically attribute the lifeless look of his sculptures to his process.

I suspect that Quinn’s working style is no less process driven than yours or mine or Michelangelo’s but rather that his investigation of process is more literally “reversed engineered” from his concept. He probably doesn’t leave much wiggle room for changes after his ideas have been committed to paper and programs – but that is just a personal working style, not uncommon and not without a fair share of “process” in the conceptualization of the work.

Just my two cents…

GJ

evaldart 04-14-2008 08:19 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Well I guess under the modern definition "process" can be considered any damned activity that somehow eventually aids in the production of the art: talking on the phone, crunching numbers, shaking hands, wining and dining...sounds like all the write-offs of a corporate bigwig. Yeah, some something that is referred to as Art eventually arrives, but these guys can't fool everyone.

I am for everything modern and do not believe in discounting anything that brings about a real piece of Art, but these Quinn types are just movie producers - enabling whims by accumulating influence and connections. There will be a point where the museum experience might feel like the amusement park. We "in the know" must simply ignore all this kind of contemporary nonsense so as not to be distracted from the "work" that makes the things that emerge beneath our HANDS so very special.

chris 71 04-14-2008 08:48 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cheesepaws (Post 56528)

If you had free access to Quinn’s machines and technicians for a few months I bet you would produce some very beautiful work and would probably walk away with a greater appreciation for his working methods.
GJ

i think i would feel like a cheater

cheesepaws 04-14-2008 09:35 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by evaldart (Post 56530)
Well I guess under the modern definition "process" can be considered any damned activity that somehow eventually aids in the production of the art: talking on the phone, crunching numbers, shaking hands, wining and dining...sounds like all the write-offs of a corporate bigwig. Yeah, some something that is referred to as Art eventually arrives, but these guys can't fool everyone.

I am for everything modern and do not believe in discounting anything that brings about a real piece of Art, but these Quinn types are just movie producers - enabling whims by accumulating influence and connections. There will be a point where the museum experience might feel like the amusement park. We "in the know" must simply ignore all this kind of contemporary nonsense so as not to be distracted from the "work" that makes the things that emerge beneath our HANDS so very special.


Personally I don’t believe that “these guys” are art charlatans. I think they have great talent – including having the head and stomach to deal with all the pressure of producing volumes of interesting and/or relevant work (to me - some good…some not so much). The idea that their success resides in so much moustache twirling and greedy hand wringing as they “sell out” in darken corporate conference rooms smoking cigars lit with $100 dollar bills - does not do their talent justice. Take away all the celebrity and money and you still have artists. That’s good enough for me. I envy their exposure but not their “success”. Museums and galleries have already fully embraced the field as an extension of the entertainment industry (ie blockbuster shows) – we should expect a few “Britneys” and “Jackos” – as well as a number of Bruce Springsteens, Neil Youngs, and Paul Simons. Success at a corporate level should not automatically invalidate one’s skills or sincerity. With Quinn, Hirst, Koons…we are not talking about “Pop in the pan” success! They have sustained careers in the field long enough to earn a fair shake regardless of how they manifest their artistic process.

CP

Thats an additional two cents - I've invested nearly a nickel already! :)

Cantab 04-14-2008 10:43 AM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Cheesepaws – I’m inclined to agree with what you say in post 19, and also Evaldart in Post 20. But then, I seem quite able to contain a multitude of conflicting views at any one time on most things….

Another aspect of Quinn’s article interested me too, in this context. He refers to having got a ‘D’ in Art ‘O’ level when 16 years of age. Then goes on to self-justify with stuff about how “there are no quantifiable right of wrong answers” and how “There are no rules to creating art”. I see a modern syndrome here. I suspect that it would be very hard to justify these positions in any other age. There are quite a number of rules to Greek and Roman art, and Michelangelo not only obeyed Greek and Roman models in many ways, but even found that his subject matter was chosen for him as well, for the most part. It seems to me, in regard to Quinn, that this modern ‘no rules’ position applies very conveniently, and in fact does not apply at all to any other modern art form, say, the novel, film or dance. Like many modern artists, Quinn has succeeded in divorcing himself from every objective measure of his work – no right/wrong; no rules; no need to make it either. If anything goes all we have, as Evaldart hints at, is a market, and in that the only measure of success is the cash you can get. And if anything goes, then BAD art goes too. But that’s absurd, of course. In an objective-free world there cannot BE bad art….

Do spend another nickle, though, Cheesepaws. But remember, in the modern world your views may not be described as right or wrong (I presume that Quinn's principles of art apply) and our attempts to say anything authoritative may just be a measure of our foolishness....

evaldart 04-14-2008 12:32 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
Right or wrong is definitely there...it is simply judged, as it should be, by each single individual; and hopefully even flip-flops as the progressing assessments of that individual change.

No milestones achieved, auction prices, exhibit histories or continued or persevering presence in the noted fronts of the "ART scene" should be considered a validator or authenticator. You cannot fool the artist in the mirror. A growing understanding of what Art actually-is will provide an artist with a greater and greater ability to be honest with himself about just WHAT he is doing and what he is making. Money is easy, ideas are easy, survival is easy, pleasing people is easy, and raking-in accolades is easy...but, advacement through your medium is hard, being able to bring about a thing that could never, ever come from the hands of another - or even a group of others - is very hard, finding and remaining on the path that is right for YOU is very, very hard. And you will only know your path by the bread-crumbs you yourself have tossed up-ahead of you. Everyone elses crumbs take you the wrong way.

I dont mean all this to sound heavy-handed - the typer makes it look like that. Its just my ideals about things at the moment which are, of course, subject to change (but I doubt I'll be heading off to the chrome-dipping facility any time soon).

StevenW 04-14-2008 12:55 PM

Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures
 
These may as well be big pink candles or plastic buddahs at the all-you- can-eat chinese buffet and the fact that they are done in stone doesn't do enough to make me marvel in them, maybe respect some good stone cutters and that's about it... This talk of process is too generalized to gauge the success of any single endeavour and to me is just a cloak to conceal the real issue, their overall value (and not in the monetary sense).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T30cQgHoRE

Don't ask, it was just the first thing that came to mind.. By the way, which one's Pink?


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